Portland, March 6th, 2015. Power of the Purse 2015 featured 15 local celebrities (“Purse-o-nalities”) who were matched with 15 hand-picked local designers to create one-of-a-kind purses that were auctioned off during the event. The unique designs helped to tell the stories of each strong, smart and bold Purse-o-nality and how their purse-everance lead them to where they are today. Presented by LifeMap, the Power of the Purse benefit for Girl’s Inc. took place on at the Portland Hilton. Girls Council member, Salma, walked the runway with Nike Bags Team purse for Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Senior Director, Partnerships & Strategic Communications for the Nike Foundation and 2015 Purse-o-nality. (Photo credit: Jennifer Alyse Photography)

Each year, Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest invites local women and men to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Power of the Purse, a fundraiser to benefit Girls Inc. programs created from research-based curricula that equip girls with the confidence and self-esteem to drive toward a bright and economically-independent future.

The gala included both a live auction and silent auction, boutique shopping, a fashion show featuring Girls Inc. girls modeling specially-designed purses, and dinner and drinks.

Some of the Purse-o-nalities included: the von Trapps, musical group; Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon’s 1st Congressional District; Chris McGowan, President and CEO of Portland Trail Blazers; Mike Golub and his wife Sam Shelhorse, President of Portland Timbers and Thorns; Tracy Curtis, Regional Vice President of Wells Fargo; and Heather Killough, philanthropist and owner of Lucky Limousine, along with 9 other inspiring women and men.

Girls Inc. girl, Alexis, shows off the purse designed by Christina Castillo Designs for Purse-o-nality Aneshka Dickson.

Girls Inc. girl, Alexis, shows off the purse designed by Christina Castillo Designs for Purse-o-nality Aneshka Dickson.

Tracy Curtis, Regional VP for Wells Fargo and one of the 2015 Purse-o-nalities, poses with Timber Joey

Tracy Curtis, Regional VP for Wells Fargo and one of the 2015 Purse-o-nalities, poses with Timber Joey.

Rukaiyah Adams, Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust and 2015 Purse-o-nality, with her guests

Rukaiyah Adams, Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust and 2015 Purse-o-nality, poses with her guests.

The 2015 Power of the Purse designers tasked with representing the remarkable Purse-o-nalities included the Ellington Handbags, Spooltown, the Nike Bags team, Christina Castillo Designs, E. Jerome Piece, Minou-Minou, and others.

Ellington Handbags design for Helen Raptis, co-host of AM Northwest on KATU and 2015 Purse-o-nality

Ellington Handbags designed for Helen Raptis, co-host of AM Northwest on KATU and 2015 Purse-o-nality.

Girls Council members take the runway

Girls Council members take the runway to the delight of the crowd.

Beth Andersen, President & CEO of LifeMap, with designer Ahmed Abidine of Elkarti and Girls Inc. girl Litea

Beth Andersen, President & CEO of LifeMap, stops for applause with designer Ahmed Abidine of Elkarti and Girls Inc. girl Litea.

Girls Council member, Salma, with Nike Bags Team purse for Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Senior Director, Partnerships & Strategic Communications for the Nike Foundation and 2015 Purse-o-nality.

Girls Council member, Salma,  walks the runway with Nike Bags Team purse for Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Senior Director, Partnerships & Strategic Communications for the Nike Foundation and 2015 Purse-o-nality.

Girls Inc. girl, Rowan, sings with the von Trapps (2015 Purse-o-nalities) on the runway.

Girls Inc. girl, Rowan, sings with the von Trapps (2015 Purse-o-nalities). 

The Purse-o-nalities were each matched with one Girls Council girl, providing a unique opportunity to expand her world, learn about various careers, and develop relationships with successful women and men in the community. This mentor relationship allows the Girls Council girl to further develop her leadership skills and build confidence in her bright future.

More information is available on the Power of the Purse website.

Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest would like to thank its 2015 Power of the Purse sponsors: LifeMap, Wells Fargo, The Standard, Heather Killough, Knowledge Universe, Comcast, Ernst & Young, Hanna Andersson, Kaiser, Walsh Construction, Trail Blazers, Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, TBIB Creative, Cindy Thompson Event Productions and Portland Monthly.

Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest offers programs for girls 6-18 around the greater Portland area. Girls Inc. programs focus on developing healthy behaviors, adopting new life skills, and encouraging girls to reach higher. Our proven curriculum provides age-appropriate, research-based, and culturally relevant content for girls to explore. Girls have the opportunity to develop the following skills:

  • Create meaningful, supportive peer groups that encourage female solidarity
  • Grow self-esteem that carries over to home, school, and the community
  • Develop sound decision-making and communication skills
  • Assert themselves as confident individuals throughout their lives
  • Build key leadership skills and strong work ethics
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