Elizabeth Nye, Executive Director of Girls Inc.’s Northwest Oregon chapter, along with staff, volunteers, designers, local personalities, and a certain luminary singer/songwriter/musician by the name of Dionne Warwick, are all getting geared up for this year’s Power of the Purse fundraiser & show for Girls Inc. Various local celebs & personalities will be teamed up with purse designers to design special, one of a kind purses for auction. Delivered throughout the Portland-metro area, Girls Inc programs help girls form healthy peer networks, achieve academically, and begin preparing for their future through girls’ group meetings, one-on-one mentoring, and enrichment activities both in & out of schools. Nye is particularly excited about this year’s “purse-o-nalities,” which includes women’s teams like the Rose City Rollers and the University of Portland Women’s Soccer Team. Nye explains, “I love the opportunity to highlight successful teams of women because it directly connects to what we do with the girls in our programs, where girls learn how to form healthy peer networks and become allies for each other. And, OF COURSE, there is Dionne Warwick, who is amazing. This is the first time we’ve ever had an ‘international music legend’ participate in our event and we are so appreciative of her enduring support!”
Designer Sha Montana with teammates, Lori Woolfrey, Wendy
Wallin-Malinow of Eyefun, and Katelyn Linkhart (Girls Inc Council)
Photo: Charles Waugh Fine Portraits
I asked Nye what kind of emotional highlights she encounters working with Girls Inc: “We have a Girls Council that consists of girls who have applied and been selected to serve… – these girls also represent the organization at Power of the Purse. One of the mothers told me recently how excited her daughter was to be selected for the council – she said her daughter felt like she was finally ‘picked’ for something. It was the sweetest thing I’ve heard – it really touched my heartstrings to know that it’s these experiences that make a lasting impression.”
Dionne Warwick has become almost as well known for her charity work around the globe as for her music, including the Grammy winning “That’s What Friends are For” which raised several million dollars for AIDS research. Taking a minute while on tour out of the country, Warwick shot me some Q&A about Girls Inc and Power of the Purse:
beepwire.com: How did you first become involved with Girls Inc?
Dionne Warwick: I’ve worked with Girls, Inc. previously with Alma Powell, former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s wife. She used to run a Girls, Inc. branch in Washington, DC. She and Colin have now founded “America’s Promise Alliance,” which partners several groups together on behalf of children, including Girls, Inc.
beepwire.com: We hear you’ll be more than a very special guest, but will also be designing one of the evening’s purses. Is this something new for you or have you designed apparel or accessories before?
Dionne Warwick: I’ve been involved with cosmetics and perfume, but I’ve never designed a purse. I’m working with Janny Downey of Minou-Minou in Portland, and we’re working on something very special!
The evening includes some great purse teams. I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing the purses all by themselves, which will include designers like Sha Montana, the aforementioned Minou-Minou, Elizabeth Rohloff, and the sustainable line Naturally Knotty. You’ll also be treated to a performance by The Brown Sisters, who sing gospel like… well it’s hard to put into words. I can personally attest to those warm spine tingles when these ladies hit their high notes (sonically and emotionally). I wonder if they’ll join Dionne Warwick? The party line says “Dionne has not officially committed to sing but Girls Inc is hoping she is inspired that night by the amazing fundraising efforts.”
Sha Montana.. Photo: James Colhoff Jr.,
Studio Max Portraits
Here’s the full list of Purse and “Purse-o-nality” Teams:
* Dionne Warwick with Minou-Minou
* The Brown Sisters with Mugwump
* DJ Wilson with Naturally Knotty Designs
* Elizabeth VanderVeer, M.D. with Naturally Knotty Designs
* Gwyneth Gamble Booth with Mi Mo Handbags
* Joey Harrington with Talitha Leather
* Kenneth Pogson & Tres Shannon with Style Sisters Studio
* Lori Woolfrey with Sha Montana and Eyefun
* Lynne Greve with Minou-Minou
* Mike and Amy of 99.5 The Wolf with Diamond 57
* The Rose City Rollers with Ellington
* Susan Sokol Blosser with Elizabeth Rohloff
* Members of the University of Portland Pilots Women’s Soccer Team with Mi Mo Handbags
Power of the Purse 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010 5:30 PM
Portland Art Museum
SW 12th & Park Avenue
Tickets available Here
For more info: Girls Inc. Northwest, Power of the Purse, Dionne Warwick, Mugwump, Naturally Knotty Designs, Naturally Knotty Designs, Mi Mo Handbags, Talitha Leather, Sha Montana, Eyefun, Diamond 57, Ellington, Elizabeth Rohloff, Mi Mo Handbags