United Way of Washtenaw County’s annual Power of the Purse benefit goes virtual

Tickets now available

A woman holds a designer purse.
A woman holds a designer purse. (Pixabay)

ANN ARBOR – United Way of Washtenaw County’s Power of the Purse benefit will be moving online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tickets are now available for the March 10 event that will honor UWWC’s 2021 Woman of the Year, Food Gatherers’ CEO and President, Eileen Spring.

Each year at the event, an honoree selected by UWWC’s Women United group is recognized and designer purses are donated to raise funds for programs that promote women’s self-sufficiency and success.

Spring was chosen by the Power of the Purse committee for her accomplishments in food system security, innovation and community leadership.

“I am humbled to be included in a group of women who have enriched our community so broadly through education, health, financial stability, and philanthropy,” Ms. Spring said in a statement. “Access to the right amount and types of food needed to be healthy is a basic human right, and it has been my privilege to work with our network of partners throughout Washtenaw County.”

Previous programs funded through the benefit helped women with childcare, tuition, to return to work or school and through financial coaching.

To date, the Power of the Purse event has allowed the UWWC Women’s Leadership Initiative to grant over $260,000 for women’s programs in Washtenaw County.

Spring has been at the helm of Food Gatherers for 27 years and helped develop the organization’s Food Security Plan, which played an integral role when the coronavirus pandemic hit the area. With a central focus of creating greater capacity, the Plan prevented long lines at distribution centers.

In fiscal year 2020, which ended in June 2020, Food Gatherers distributed the equivalent of 6.5 million meals with the help of the National Guard since its large volunteer network was put on hold due to the pandemic.

UWWC’s Woman of the Year honor was established in 2009. Previous recipients include Dr. Lori Pierce, Cecilia Fileti, Molly Dobson, Beth Fitzsimmons and Lucy Ann Lance.

To purchase tickets for Power of the Purse, click here.

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