Heroes and Handbags was a pretty phoney affair. Never has a fundraiser seen so many cellphones drafted into full duty as this one benefiting the Heroes for Children. It was strictly a brilliant move by Co-chairs Danya Anderson and Andrea Weber for this crowd of highly skilled smartphoners. Using phones to check bid status and up the ante on gently-experienced and donated purses from fashionistas* at the Hilton Anatole on May 4, the ladies who clutch were not playing by the old silent auction rule of, “Wait til the last minute before bidding.” Nope, they were punching their numbers like the boxers who just hours before had been duking it out in the very same room for The Real Estate Council’s FightNight 24.
In fact FightNight was one of the topics that the organizers were still rolling their eyes about. Seems that in the waning hours of FightNight, the ladies of HaH were moving into the Chantilly Ballroom to set up shop for the Friday morning brunch/shop-a-thon. One female, who certainly wasn’t faint of heart, reported, “It was sorta amazing. I saw one man rushing to the bathroom with his hands over his mouth.” Interpret that as you wish.
But back to the ladies in their pursuit of the right purse. This was definitely not your granny Gertrude’s affair. Nope. These were the leggy gals who work out year round just to stay toned and healthy. With their best stilettos and wedges in place, they made the rounds of the room hunting for a new home for their now-overworked cellphones. After all, today’s smartphone demands accessories like Barbie. One just can’t toss the phone in a back pocket!
While first-timer Stephanie Korte was checking out the Gucci-monogrammed fabric bag with bamboo handles and turquoise leather accents that was valued at $850, she admitted “I’m a $25 ranger type. I’m scared to bid on anything.” Not to worry. If a mistaken bid was placed on the phone, it could easily be resolved by notifying organizers.
By 10:20 a.m. gals and their phones were checking out and bidding on the likes of Elaine Turner, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Marc Jacobs and Chanel. You know, a nice little Prada for your iPhone to cuddle up in. Or a feathery Antony Luciano brown satin evening bag for your Android to call home for a night. Nancy Rogers’ donated Valentino red flower handbag valued at $2,200 was already hitting $1,200. The Ralph Lauren gold hobo bag donated by Elaine Agather valued at $1,5000 was at $1,015.
And the numbers continued to rise as the ladies moved into the other part of the Chantilly Ballroom for brunch and still more fundraising for Heroes for Children, a group that does so much good for families like brunch speaker Hagan Hoppess, who gave a moving talk about her battle with cancer and the effect it’s had on her family. Thank heaven for ladies who love their handbags and help Heroes for Children.
This year’s hoped-for total of $300,000 was topped by $12,000 with 260 handbags going home with new owners. Plans are already underway for next year’s event. It’s gonna be in the bag (oh, so sorry, but we couldn’t resist).
One suggestion for next year: Get a cellphone provider to be a major sponsor.
* Jennifer Houser, Jennifer Tobin, Jenna Alexander, Skye Brewer, Cindy and David Stager, April Willingham, Alicia Wood, Ashley Tripplehorn Hunt, Janine Steiner, Tamara Bickel, Amy Detwiler, Elizabeth and Eric Gambrell, Danya Anderson Stacy Kelly and Joe Wiseman, Tavia Hunt, Misty Quinn, Alison Weinstein, Emily and Todd Massey, Stacy Elliott, Anne Fontaine Paris, Andrea and John Weber, Megana nd Brian Flanagan, Angela Ruble, Megan Adams, Christi Houser, Stacey Butler, Wendy Konradi, Ashard Richley, Stacie Whitley, Kim Monk, Katherine LaLonde, Maura Bradshaw, Tanya Foster, Leigh Koch, Margot Keller, Donna and Ken Reese, Katherine Coker, Marianne Wilshusen, Melanie Gayle and Erica Robins