EmPower Your Purse 2017

LWRWC Supports Hope at 3rd Annual “EmPower Your Purse”

On Friday, October 20, 2017, Patti Wrobel, LWRWC past President and current HOPE Board Member, hosted a Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club Table at the 3rd Annual EmPower Your Purse Fundraiser Luncheon held in the Fete Ballroom at the Polo Grill. The ladies from the LWRWC were front and center to provide a strong show of support for Hope Family Services (one of our three LWRWC 501 (c)(3) adopted charities) and their efforts to protect women and their families from the devastation of domestic violence.

Pictured L to R, LWRWC Corresponding Secretary, MaryLee Danahy, LWRWC Past President and current HOPE Board Member, Patti Wrobel, HOPE Family Services Executive Director, Laurel Lynch, LWRWC President, Monika Templeman, LWRWC Member, Sheron Benkert, and LWRWC/survivor, Vice President, Eileen Buzzard.

Approximately 300 women filled the ballroom at this powerful event jointly sponsored by Hope Family Services, SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center) and WRC (Women’s Resource Center) to proactively support life changing services for women and families who are victims of domestic violence.

According to Laurel Lynch, Executive Director of HOPE Family Services, “domestic violence is a massive problem that impacts women and families from every social stratum and in every community. Domestic Violence is also a crime that carries an unwarranted stigma for the victims and the path to freedom from abuse and healing is a difficult road that requires community support.” The services provided by HOPE, SPARK and the WRC give victims the opportunity to physically and emotionally heal, gain strength, find safety and acquire the skills they need to become financially independent and empowered.

Every woman in attendance donated a new or very gently used purse to help a woman in our community, because something as small as a good handbag can make a big difference!  The great comradary, exciting raffle prizes and wonderful purses for sale to raise money for this crucial cause created a festive ambiance.

The most moving part of the event, however, was listening to the very courageous speaker who shared her personal story of her transition from terror to triumph as she overcame the physical and emotional trauma of domestic abuse. The room was silent as she described her horrific ordeal, including the various brutal attempts her former abusive husband made to end her life and the nightmare of witnessing him viciously beat her disabled Veteran daughter.

The audience was moved to tears as she shared with them how she managed to escape her nightmare and experience remarkable success in her personal and professional life thanks to the invaluable help, love and support received from Hope Family Services, SPARK and the WRC.

Never under estimate the power of women helping women!