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Purse auction raises money for breast cancer services

April 25, 2006

The second annual "Purse-on to Person" Fighting Breast Cancer Auction was Sunday at Sheraton Four Points on Dual Highway in Hagerstown.

More than 420 people packed the hotel's ballroom, ate dinner and raised more than $50,000 as hundreds of donated purses and gift items were auctioned.

Breast Cancer Awareness of the Cumberland Valley organized the event. Sponsoring the auction was the Alpha Sigma Chapter of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority.

More than $50,000 was raised during the event, according to Joan Fell, executive director of Breast Cancer Awareness of the Cumberland Valley.

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"We had over 250 purses auctioned off in a live auction and silent auction, plus scores of raffles and door prizes," Fell said.

Some of the purses went for thousands of dollars, including one that included a family-of-four trip to Disney World.

"We had many very expensive purses, side by side with some handmade donated purses," Fell said. "Purses by Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Prada, Brighton, Coach, Ruby Tag, Mary Frances and Timmy Woods helped bring in much more money than was raised last year."

Last year's inaugural event raised $37,000.

"This was a very enjoyable and worthwhile event," said Toni Sollenberger, president of the board of directors of Breast Cancer Awareness of the Cumberland Valley. "We had a lot of fun and raised more money than we expected. Dozens of people volunteered to help make this event happen."

Breast Cancer Awareness of the Cumberland Valley provides support and counseling for people fighting breast cancer. The group provides free mammograms, free wigs, hats and turbans for patients receiving chemotherapy, free after-surgery kits and free meals for people undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.

For more information about the organization, go to www.hopeforu.org.

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