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Power of Purse VNA CNJ Thrift
Jun 18, 2018

VNA’s ‘The Power of the Purse’ Fundraiser is a Fashionable Success

Power of Purse VNA CNJ Thrift

Power of the Purse committee members from left: Allison Cea, Shannon Trudel, Tiziana Ziman, Nora King, Molly Kroon Jennings, Jill Drummond and Maryam Spector. 

On May 3 — one of the first beautiful nights of spring — more than 260 women stepped out in their chicest cocktail attire to attend the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Children’s Auxiliary’s sixth bi-annual “The Power of the Purse” Ladies’ Night Out and Purse Auction. The event raised over $55,000 for the VNA’s Children and Family Health Institute programs and has grown each time, having raised $230,000 in total since its inception in 2008.

Held at the scenic Riverhouse at Rumson Country Club, “The Power of the Purse” invited guests to take a chance on more than 100 purses, handbags, beauty packages, fitness classes, jewelry and more. The evening’s silent auction showcased luxury designer handbags, many of which are not readily available in stores or online.

Power of Purse NJ

Event sponsors from left: VNA Emerging Leadership Board member Alyssa Spector, VNA Foundation Board Chair Lynn Spector, VNA Foundation Trustees Maggie Riker, Kathy Jones and Power of the Purse Committee member Kathy McErlean.

Before announcing the winners of the handbags, Bridget Murphy, Chief Philanthropy Officer at the VNA, invited guests to watch a video featuring a patient’s family that receives case management and health care services from the VNA. Featuring Neptune resident Laura Gaedt and her VNA case manager Patricia Sciurba-Murphy, the video details Laura’s experience navigating the health care services available for her son who has physical disabilities, and the significant role Patricia continues to play in the Gaedts’ life.

“To see everyone in attendance so captivated by the story of one family’s struggle to find health care for their child is remarkable,” Murphy said. “We are grateful to all of the volunteers, attendees, sponsors and supporters of this year’s Power of the Purse, our most successful to date. It is their support that enables the VNA to continue making a difference for families like the Gaedts. Last year the VNA cared for over 53,000 patient families like the Gaedts.”

Launched in 2013, the VNA Children and Family Health Institute is a strategic initiative to strengthen, enhance and improve visibility and access to community-based care for at-risk children and their families. The Institute’s “no wrong front door” approach is comprised of 17 unique grant-funded programs aimed at ensuring the health and well-being of individuals and families. The Institute’s programs help families, regardless of their circumstances, connect to health care, as well as navigate the complexities of the public and private health services and assistance available to them.

Photos courtesy of Marcella Shook Photography.