By Kristen Oliver
For the seventh year, WomenSource played host to its annual Power of the Purse fundraiser, which celebrated women’s philanthropy Tuesday evening at the Chattahoochee Country Club.
Power of the Purse included a vendor marketplace, dinner, raffle and fashion show featuring models selected by the community as local heroes.
Michele Piucci, chair of WomenSource, said the 16 models “run the gamut” of women in the community and included Dana Chapman, executive director of The Guest House support center for seniors, Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputy AnMarie Martin and Sandra Deal, Georgia’s first lady, to name a few.
Models also included stay-at-home mothers, nurses, teachers, volunteers and advocates.
“We went through The Times this year to get people to nominate community heroes, whether it be for what they do for their work or their volunteerism,” Piucci said. “We chose our models from those people nominated, and they represent the community.”
Piucci said the event is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year and relies on it to help provide as much free programming as possible.
“We really want to be able to reach people in the community,” she said. “We don’t want money to be a factor, especially in some of our programs like our financial series or health series. We want to reach out and make an impact and we don’t want people to have barriers.”
Valerie Simmons-Walston, chair-elect of WomenSource, said the organization reached hundreds of women in the last year through its programming, including brown bag lunches, yoga classes in the downtown square and “Girl Power” programs for young women.
“Whatever you need, you can find it at a WomenSource event,” Simmons-Walston said.
Piucci said the mission of the organization is to encourage personal and professional success for all women in Northeast Georgia.
“We want to empower women,” Piucci said. “A lot of that is to provide education and resources, or help somebody, no matter who they are, who has a need in this community to come to women source so we can empower them and make their situation better.”