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Handbags and High Fashion at Soroptimists’ 2

Handbags and High Fashion at Soroptimists' 2nd Annual Old Bag Luncheon

Last year Soroptimist International Santa Clara and Epsilon Sigma Alpha held their first-ever Old Bag Luncheon and Auction. It was such a hit that they decided to do it again.

Held again at Santa Clara’s iconic restaurant, Mariani’s, this year’s event on Feb. 23 drew about 200 people – all of whom dressed to the teeth for the afternoon. And it’s clear that the event now ranks among the community’s most popular and entertaining charity events.

Mission College Marketing and Public Relations Director Peter Anning, was the auctioneer, back by popular demand after his debut at last year’s Old Bag luncheon. Anning, who says that the Italian for “handbag” is “Gucci,” kept the momentum going with his comic deadpan, running line of conversation, and admonitions to “bid early, bid often and bid high.”

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What makes the Santa Clara Old Bag luncheon uniquely interesting is that each auction item is a handbag filled with gift certificates for everything from manicures to vacations, and fine wines and yummy chocolates.

And despite the moniker “old,” these handbags were anything but. Each one was a fashionable new or vintage item that alone was worth the price; making the gifts inside truly bargains.

The primo item was the Disneyland Adventure bag (value $1,200) with three one-day passes to the park, four nights at the Anaheim Crown Plaza hotel and an assortment of Disney collectibles. Another hit was the Night at the Shark Tank (value $165) with two upper reserve penthouse plaza tickets, dinner and a #21 T.J. Galiardi-signed Sharks puck.

Anning’s favorite-looking bag was Dining Out, a Bali hand-crafted basket with inlaid wood carving that included gift cards for dinner at Santa Clara restaurants The Fish Market, Birk’s and Capers (value $320).

In addition to the auction, there were raffle prizes contributed by Epsilon Sigma Alpha, as well as door prizes for lucky ticket holders.

The event netted $11,550 for the Soroptimists’ community projects in Santa Clara and the local area, including scholarships for women reentering the workforce, the “S” Club at Wilcox High School and the Soroptimist Christmas Store.

“We are thrilled by the community’s support and generosity,” said club president Linda Barber. “Everyone had a good time and it was altogether an outstanding event.” For information on Soroptimist Santa Clara visit sprsoroptimist.org/cubs-santa-clara.html. For more information about Epsilon Sigma Alpha visit www.epsilonsigmaalpha.org.

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