Purse auction supports summer lunch program

TIPP CITY – The staff at Tipp Monroe Community Services is tipping its hats to those they anticipate will participate in the nonprofit’s annual purse auction with this year’s theme of Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Purse Auction.

The annual auction will be held March 16 at Tipp City Global Methodist Church downtown. Doors open at 10 a.m. with activities including a silent auction, door prizes, raffles, lunch and the big event, the live auction.

The auction benefits the Lunch on Us Summer Meal Program for children in Tipp City and Monroe Twp.

The first auction was held in 2013 with the event halted during the COVID-19 pandemic and returning in 2023. Last year, no purse was sold at the live auction for less than $100.

“We want it to be fun. That way, people want to keep coming back,” said Kathy Taylor, executive director of TMCS. The event is coordinated by staff members Misty Cox and Denise Gross.

To add to the fun, organizers are inviting people to wear a hat to the event to go along with the Mad Hatter theme.

Approximately 200 tickets will be sold for the event. They can be bought at TMCS offices at 3 E. Main St., downtown, or by mail to P.O. Box 242, Tipp City, 45371, with cash or checks. The cost is $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight. The tickets usually sell out, Taylor said.

The live auction of 50 purses again will be conducted by local auctioneer and school principal Galen Gingerich. Credit cards will be accepted as payment during the live auction, Taylor said.

TMCS staff works on the auction year-round. In addition to donations of purses, items to go into the purses/bags are needed including gift cards, scarves and wallets, among others. An array of bags and purses are auctioned from small clutches to totes and backpacks.

Donations come from people across the community, including local schools’ employees and business supporters.

The auction has a lot of return attendees.

Last summer, the Lunch on Us program served 8,590 meals, and the 2023 auction raised $15,000.

The proceeds help pay for program staff, who are cafeteria workers from the Tipp City schools. There also is heavy reliance on volunteers who help prepare snacks and assist with other tasks. Meals can be picked up summer weekdays at the church, and a van delivers to identified drop-off locations in neighborhoods.

More information on TMCS and its programs is available at tmcomservices.org.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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