REENFIELD – Megan Langlais will be the first to tell how important the annual Power of the Purse fundraiser is.

The executive director of the Women’s Resource Center — which benefits from the annual fundraiser — hears the stories of women in need in this community daily.

The Power of the Purse, a benefit for the Women’s Resource Center, will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Blu Falls Art Arts and Event Center, 8820 S. State Road 9 in Pendleton.

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The Power of the Purse is a night of shopping and fun and empowerment for women,” said Amber Sermersheim, advancement officer for the Hancock County Community Foundation.

The event raises funds through the silent auction sale of more than 60 gift baskets, a live auction and other raffle opportunities. The $60 admission ticket includes sandwiches, flat bread, meatballs and other appetizers.

Gift package themes include a technology package, a Colts package and pampering packages. Some of the bundles have been put together by the members of the Women’s Fund; others have been donated by event sponsors.

The gift purses sometimes go for big bucks – as much as $400, Sermersheim said. The live auction features items of higher value, such as a racing experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

And the event stays true to its name — instead of the gift packages being wrapped up in baskets, many are wrapped in purses, Sermersheim said.

All funds raised from “The Power of the Purse” are earmarked for the Women’s Resource Center, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to connecting women with the resources they need to overcome the obstacles and difficulties in their lives. The Women’s Resource Center will use the funds to make grants to organizations in Hancock County that provide services for women.

On the agenda for the evening gala includes the introduction of a new grant-making model, said Sermersheim.

“Members of the Women’s Fund will now have a say in how we grant the dollars,” Sermersheim said.

The Women’s Resource Center was created by members of the Women’s Fund, a group of women who have made both time and financial commitments to inspiring social change and an improved quality of life for women in the community.

The organization helps women who have been victims of domestic abuse or suddenly find themselves a single mother. For example, maybe they’ve never had a job before or didn’t get a chance to go to college, Sermersheim added. The Women’s Resource Center helps women secure housing, find a job or to get signed up for assistance programs, she said.

“(It’s) a mentorship program for women to get them back on their feet,” Sermersheim said.

Langlais said she’s hopeful turnout at The Power of the Purse is good so the Women’s Resource Center can continue creating success stories.

She tells the story of one mother and grandmother who were living in an area hotel with three children. The youngest faced some physical challenges and disabilities, and the family needed permanent housing.

Through the Women’s Resource Center, the family was placed in a good, stable home in less than a month.

“We’re here to be the organization who fills the gaps,” she said.

If you go

Who:  Women’s Resource Center

What:  Power of the Purse fundraiser

When:  6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24

Where:  Blu Falls Arts and Event Center, 8820 S. State Road 9 in Pendleton

Other:  tickets are $60; available at

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Christine Schaefer is arts editor and editorial assistant at the Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3222 or