Power of the Purse coming soon

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK)- The United Way will host its 7th annual "Power of the Purse" fundraiser November 14th at the MSU Riley Center.

“They go into the live auction rooms and sit down with two live professional auctioneers. They bid on high-end auction purses, everything from Louis Vuitton on down,” says volunteer Debbie Young.

On that list is Michael Kors, Coach and JJ Winter to name a few. The live auction will also have art and trips, including a Viking cooking school and a golf trip, up for bids.

The money raised goes to the Imagination Library started over 20 years ago by singer and songwriter Dolly Parton to help children fall in love with reading by supplying them with books.

“The purpose is to get books in the hands of children without regard to income and there’s no cost to the families. Any child can be registered to receive a book from birth to five years of age. If you register a newborn, they can have 60 books by the time they go to kindergarten that belongs to them,” says Young.

The event has raised $140,000 over the past seven years.

“We started out in Quitman school district in Clarke County. Since then, Lauderdale, Kemper, and Neshoba have been added. Think about how many kids that is. We have given out over 200,000 books. Dolly Parton has given out over 100 million books around the world,” says Young.

The goal is for every child to have books of their own and to encourage parents to read to their children.

“You want a child to hit kindergarten with a good solid vocabulary with an understanding with colors, numbers, places, and animals. We want them to be excited about learning. Reading to a child is the best way to do that. We want every child to have the same opportunity,” says Young.

The event is $40 per ticket. To get your tickets in advance, call United Way at 601-693-2732.