These ain’t your mama’s handbags

Staff report

July 14, 2014

What do “Mad Men,” “Batman,” and “Matlock” have in common?

They all feature actresses who have donated purses to this year’s Handbags for Hospice auction, set for July 18 at Old North State Winery in Mount Airy. The auction is set for 6 p.m., and music by Rhythm starts at 8.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, and auction participants are encouraged to stick around for the band.

The event is a biannual fund raiser to support the Kids Path program at Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care.

Kids Path is a program designed to help children who are living with serious, progressive medical conditions. It also provides support for children experiencing grief associated with the illness or death of a loved one. The overall goal of the program is to enhance quality of life for children from birth through age 18 as well as for those who share their lives. Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care is now the tenth member of the Kids Path Consortium which spans the Carolinas and Virginia.

Celebrities who have contributed handbags, some autographed, include Elisabeth Moss and Jessica Pare’ from “Mad Men”; former Miss America Lee Meriwether from “Barnaby Jones,” “Batman” and “The Time Tunnel;” Nancy Stafford of “Matlock” fame and Surry County’s own Anna Wood, who starred in “Deception” and can be seen in the CBS drama “Reckless.”

Organizer Sheila Jones, who serves as marketing director for Mountain Valley Hospice, said she is pleased with the response from the famous actresses.

“We are truly excited to have purses donated by five big Hollywood stars,” she said.

Jones said she tries to hold a Handbags for Hospice event every two years.

“This will be our third event, and we’re looking for a record turnout,” she said, noting that the first fund raiser netted around $4,500 and the 2012 event raised nearly $7,000.

“We wanted to come up with something creative and outside the box to help us raise much-needed money,” Jones added. “We wanted to do something other than a dinner and raffle. This community is great about doing those type of fund raisers, but we wanted to do something fun.”

Jones said it only makes sense to hold a fund raiser targeting the fairer sex.

“Women are often the ones who are left to make the decisions for a loved one in the event of an illness, and we thought if we could bring in women to our fund raiser it would also help us raise awareness of what it is we do at Mountain Valley Hospice,” she said.

This year for the first time, organizers are allowing bidding by proxy for those who wish to place a bid but can’t make it to the event.

Anyone interested in bidding by proxy should call 888-789-2922.

Admission to the auction is $10 in advance and $15 at the door.