Portland, March 9th. Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon sparkled at its seventh annual Power of the Purse fundraiser at the Portland Art Museum. Maria Lali of Ziba Designs, Girls Council Girl Hazel and Jack Jewsbury, Captain of the Portland Timbers were a hit on the catwalk. (Photo credit, Dodge & Burn Studios) The event raised over $224,000 for the nonprofit.

Dr. Lori Morgan (left) with Girls Council Girl Kiera and designers BD503

Dr. Lori Morgan with Girls Council Girl Kiera and designers BD503

The annual gala benefits the programs and mission of Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon, which includes after-school programs that mentor and teach girls the social, financial and leadership skills they need to take control of their lives and grow into successful adults. 

Secretary of State Kate Brown with Designer Maya Moon

Secretary of State Kate Brown with Designer Maya Moon

This year’s Power of the Purse main event features 14 local Portland Purse-O-Nalities and 13 purse designers who worked directly with each other to design a one-of-a-kind handbag, reflecting each Purs-O-Nality’s true style. Each piece is a unique work of art, and was auctioned off during a live fashion show showcasing the handbags the creative individuals who inspired the design.

Naomi Pomeroy, Head Chef & Owner of BEAST and Designer Emily Katz cheer on Girl Inc. Girls Council member Janny.

Naomi Pomeroy, Head Chef & Owner of BEAST and Designer Emily Katz cheer on Girl Inc. Girls Council member Janny.

 

The 2012 Power of the Purse was opened with a wailing guitar solo by Bibi McGill. Bibi is the musical director, and guitarist for Beyonce’s all female band Suga Mama. She is also the CEO and Founder of Bibi Kale Chips.

The 2012 Power of the Purse was opened with a wailing guitar solo by Bibi McGill. Bibi is the musical director, and guitarist for Beyonce’s all female band Suga Mama. She is also the CEO and Founder of Bibi Kale Chips.

“In this day and age, it is more important than ever for our girls to have the confidence to go out into the world and be strong, smart, and bold,” said Elizabeth Nye, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon. “From preparing girls to be financially independent to teaching them importance of a strong self worth, I have personally witnessed the impact our programs have had on the lives of local girls and their families. For seven years, Power of the Purse has made it possible for Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon to continue serving girls in our region. I am honored to continue the tradition of this incredible event and witness the positive impact it will have not only on our girls, but the community as a whole.” 

The show included a dance performance from Dance Vision to Beyonce song “Run the World (Girls)”

The show included a dance performance from Dance Vision to Beyonce song “Run the World (Girls)”

 

Irene Firmat at her husband Jamie Emmerson.

Irene Firmat at her husband Jamie Emmerson.

This year’s Purse-O-Nalities and purse designers include:

Dr. Lori Morgan, Hospital Administrator, Legacy Emanuel; David Haines, BD503

Linda Williams, Oregon Regional President of Washington Trust Bank; Carol Risley, Carol Risley Handbags

Naomi Pomeroy, Head Chef at Beast and Top Chef Maters Contestant; Emily Katz

Laura Mansfield, CEO Pagatim.fm, radio host; Kayrene Kelley, Leather Girl Kelley

Kate Brown, Secretary of State; Maya Bauer, Maya Moon Designs

Katie O’Grady, Actress/Producer; Courtney Leonard, MIDGE by CL

Erin Hubert, Vice President of Entercom Portland; Mia Scofield, MiMo Handbags

Debbie Rosas, Co-creator of Nia; Janny Downey, Minou-Minou

Irene Fermat, Founder of Full Sail Brewery; Jeff Amrhein, Nomad Unlimited

Lisa Sedler, CEO of New Seasons; Rebecca Pearcy, Queen Bee Creations

Lori & Edie Singer, Mother, daughter community volunteers; Sha Montana

Michael Curry, Production and Puppet Artist; Luke Mathers, TRUCE

Jack Jewsburry, Midfielder and Captain for Portland Timbers; Hannah May, Ziba Design

Since 2005, more than 100 of Portland’s most notable community leaders, media personalities, artists and entrepreneurs have worked with local purse designers to create one-of-a-kind handbags. These creations have raised more than $500,000 for Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon. In 2011, more than 450 Girls Inc. supporters attended Power of the Purse, and individual handbags were purchased for as much as $3,000. In 2012, Girls Inc. hopes to raise more than $175,000 to fund locally based program. 

About Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon

Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that inspires girls, ages 8-18, to be strong, smart, and bold. Our gender-specific programs and research-based curricula provide girls with the confidence and self-esteem to access a bright and economically-independent future. As a local affiliate of the national Girls Inc. organization, we provide vital educational programs to girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas. Since its inception in 1998, Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon served 5,000 girls and their families through after school-based empowerment programs and year-round enrichment and skills building programs.

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