Here’s how a purse auction helps provide thousands of meals to local children

Cameron Godsey, left, and Carol English of Tipp Monroe Community Services work on donated purses and decorations for the sixth Purse Auction to benefit the Tipp City Lunch on Us summer meals program.
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Cameron Godsey, left, and Carol English of Tipp Monroe Community Services work on donated purses and decorations for the sixth Purse Auction to benefit the Tipp City Lunch on Us summer meals program.

TIPP CITY – Beach bags, messenger bags, Coach bags and even a small brass purse are lining up for new homes as preparations are made for the sixth Purse Auction to benefit the Lunch on Us summer lunch program in Tipp City and Monroe Twp.

More seating is being added for this year’s auction, set for March 17 at the Tipp City United Methodist Church. The venue will accommodate up to 200 guests for a brunch by Sam & Ethel’s Restaurant along with silent and live auctions of purses of all sizes, shapes, colors, materials and origins.

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Some offerings have been lovingly used and cleaned for their new life, while others are bought new and donated to Tipp Monroe Community Services for the cause. Three Coach bags were donated last month by a local business owner who included in the package scarves and wristlets for the lucky bidders.

Last year’s auction raised $12,200 for Lunch on Us, which will begin its ninth year of summer lunches June 11. The program started after Community Services heard concerns about the number of youths not eating lunch during summer months when they were out of school.

The program has grown from 850 meals served the first year to 6,674 last year. The program initially was six weeks; last year at 10 weeks. Volunteers from across the community assist from local Rotary Club members to school administrators and staff.

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This year’s auction, the sixth, will have a St. Patrick’s Day theme. A new feature will be a photo opportunity area with props for use by those posing for a quick photo. Also new this year was an official organizing committee, whose volunteers work to make decorations, secure donations and make sure the event runs smoothly.

“Our very last purse is going to be a gold-colored purse with lots of good things in it. I thought it would be fun,” said Carol English of Community Services and one of the auction’s organizers.

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“It’s a lot of fun and it’s so worthwhile,” she said of the event.

The lunch program costs more than $67,000 a year to run, said Kathy Taylor, director of Community Services.

She said the program “is pulling the community together for a purpose – to make sure we don’t have hungry kids in Tipp City.” The program support comes “from all directions” and people of all ages, Taylor said.

More information on the Lunch on Us program is available at Community Services at 937-667-8631.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com


How to Go

What: Sixth Annual Purse Auction

Who: Tipp Monroe Community Services

Why: Benefit summer lunch program

When: March 17

Where: Tipp City United Methodist Church

How much: $20 per person, $140 for table of eight

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