August 9, 2019
YWCA Central Alabama hosted its Eleventh annual Purse and Passion St. Clair County Luncheon on Thursday, August 8th at First United Methodist Church in Pell City. The annual event raises funds for the YW’s domestic violence services in St. Clair County. Collectively over the past ten years, the event has raised over $650,000 for the YW’s domestic violence shelter and client services like court advocacy, case management, and legal assistance in the county. This year’s event raised over $54,000 towards YWCA Domestic Violence shelter and services in St. Clair County.
This year’s Purse and Passion, St. Clair County theme appropriately centered on the importance of community impact. It celebrated the YW’s community partners, both corporate and agency along with the individual community members who have supported over the years. With 450 YW supporters in the room, YWCA Central Board President, Maggie Brooke, thanked supporters for being a part of the caring community. Their generous gifts of time, talent, and finances make the community safer and happier each year. “We are entering a new decade of caring in St. Clair County, we are grateful to Sonia Dale for her leadership, and we are grateful for the strong and passionate leadership of the past years, Cindy and Blair Goodgame and our dear, dear Jenny Gauld, who spearheaded the first luncheon in this county.”
Purse and Passion guest met Mariah, a courageous survivor of domestic violence, through a video. She told her story of leaving behind a life she thought she had to live with, for a life worthy of her daughter, Lily’s future. “Is this what you want her to go through twenty years from now? Because this is what she sees you’re letting a man do to you; this is what she will think is supposed to happen to her,” said Mariah, domestic abuse survivor. “If she saw this, even if she wasn’t the victim, she could have very well been the abuser, either way, that is not what you want to be, so I just had to leave.”
Planning steering committee members, led by Sonia Dale, began planning the event several months ahead. “Our beloved Purse and Passion St. Clair County Luncheon, is a vital part of the YWCA’s program funding in St. Clair County”, said Sonia Dale, steering committee chair. “Without the support of the community, the 73 women and children who were no longer safe at home in 2018, could potentially have nowhere to turn for shelter and safety.”
The title sponsor for this year’s YWCA Central Alabama Purse and Passion, St. Clair County was Alabama Power and presenting sponsors included Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and Red Diamond Coffee and Tea. Other event supports include Benjamin Moore, Discover St Clair, Goodgame Company, MetroBank, Pell City, Pell City First United Methodist Church, Valley Bank, Landmark Credit Union, The Daily Home-St. Clair Times - Lakeside Living Magazine, and Lake and Home Magazine.