Handbags for Hope to celebrate 10th anniversary, raising $1 million since 2013

Handbags for Hope is celebrating its 10th anniversary this August with auctions of handbags to raise funds to support community charities.

The event is the Clarksville Association of Realtors’ largest event of the year, and this year it will be Aug. 26 at the Oak Grove Racing, Gaming and Hotel to accommodate more guests than previous years. There will be live entertainment. Shane McCarrell will be the auctioneer for the live auction, with luxury purses and bags filled with the sponsors choice of products, experiences or services.

10 years of growing support

Since 2013, Handbags for Hope has raised over $1 million. In 2022, the proceeds helped many organizations in Montgomery and Stewart counties, among them American Mobility Project, Ajax Turner Senior Citizen Center, Judy’s Hope, and Clarksville-Montgomery County Veterans Coalition.

Pictured from the left, Jennifer Warrick, Kelly Foote, Nichole Royce, Mellissa Rivera and Dedra Ware in 2013. (Contributed)
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Pictured from the left, Jennifer Warrick, Kelly Foote, Nichole Royce, Mellissa Rivera and Dedra Ware in 2013. (Contributed)

This year’s Handbags for Hope event is focused on raising funds but also to acknowledge and celebrate the ones who had started and supported the event since the first year.

This event started with no funding and with only $1,500 split between three agents and affiliates: Kelly Foote, Melissa Rivera and Jennifer Warrick, according to committee chair Sheena Dixon.

Handbags for Hope. (Contributed)
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Handbags for Hope. (Contributed)

Handbags for Hope has come so far since the first event at the Riverview Inn, with around 200 guests. That night raised $22,128. Mike Groves, an agent that has since passed in 2015, was one of the advocates for this first event and has since raised funds for the Mike Groves Memorial Scholarship in honor of his leadership. The first event supported SafeHouse Urban Ministries, and since then it has supported many organizations and nonprofits.

This year, the committee’s goal has been to make the event more inclusive and has invited several community members, among them County Trustee Kimberly Wiggins and Kirsten Licari, first lady of Austin Peay State University. Both mayors are invited, and any unsold bags will be donated to Bella’s Closet.

Becoming a sponsor

Handbags are filled with surprise items based on a theme selected by the donor. There are three handbag donation categories.

  • Live – Sponsors will choose a luxury designer handbag customized with their name or company logo, complete with a choice of surprise items. They are the star of the show in the live auction event.
  • Premium– Sponsors will choose a brand new bag filled with themed products and tagged with their name or company logo. They are the highlight of the premium silent auction.
  • Silent– New or gently used handbags will be showcased during the silent auction event where each bag will labeled and presented for bidding on the app and event website beginning the morning of the event.

This year, CAR has included a partnership with the local Dillard’s in Clarksville.

The deadline for sponsors and ticket sales is Aug. 4.

  • Diamond sponsors will enjoy with seating closest to the stage, early access, an escort, private bartender and more.
  • Gold sponsors have preferred seating, early access and a keepsake to take home.
  • Black sponsors get a reserved table, express check-in, and a keepsake.

Get your tickets

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 6-10 p.m. at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming and Hotel at 777 Winners Way, Oak Grove, Kentucky.

General admission for the event is $100. Attendees will enjoy a plated dinner and open bar.

Those who purchase a VIP ticket for an additional $75 will gain exclusive access to the luxury lounge, which features early entry, premium liquor, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a private lounge.

For tickets, click the Handbags for Hope website.

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