Perfect purses

Published 1:02 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2010

These are some of the purses donated for the Purse Party. (Contributed photo)

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Shoppers taking advantage of after-Thanksgiving sales at the Riverchase Galleria Nov. 27 will be amazed — but not at the sale prices or the Christmas decorations.

Rather, shoppers will be blown away by the thousands of purses on sale at the Wynfrey Hotel during the Sight Savers Purse Party.

Sight Savers communications director Linda Long said the Purse Party will raise money for children who are visually impaired.

“We just started to think about how women love purses, and if we could get people to donate purses, we could have a fun fundraiser,” Long said.

The purses are new or gently used, and all are in excellent condition. There will be many brand name purses from fashion houses such as Prada and Ralph Lauren, as well as celebrity purses, collected from well-known women such as country singer Sara Evans, Miss Alabama Ashley Davis, Jonna Chizik, wife of Auburn football coach Gene Chizik, and Terry Saban, wife of Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

The celebrity purses will be sold at a silent auction during the event.

Fans of the television show “Desperate Housewives” should plan to arrive early, as a purse from star Eva Longoria will also be up for auction.

“The thing is, I am absolutely amazed at some of the purses we have coming in,” Long said. “You could not find an occasion you wouldn’t find a purse here for. We just encourage everyone to come out because, if nothing else, it’s an incredible array of purses.”

However, Long said she does not know how many purses Sight Savers has for sale. The Mobile area alone — where Sight Savers works with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind — has donated more than 2,000 purses, and purse drives are picking up steam all over the state.

“It kind of has just taken on this whole-state life,” Long said. “It all goes back to the kids and trying to help the kids.”

Long said the money earned will help children see who were never able to before.

“These are such special children, and it is wonderful to watch them as they see things for the first time that most of us take for granted,” she said. “One little girl saw her mom for the first time. Another was able to finish school, get her own apartment and a full-time job thanks to vision aids provided by Sight Savers. Each child tells a different story, but each has the same theme.”

The Purse Party will be at the Wynfrey Hotel inside the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover. The sale will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 27.

Any unsold purses will be either sold at consignment shops to raise more money or donated to women’s charitable organizations.

To find out more about the Purse Party, call Sight Savers at 942-2627.