Over 180 men and women arrived at Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant February 25 for Soroptimist International Santa Clara and Epsilon Sigma Alpha’s first ever Old Bag Luncheon.
Armed with bidding paddles, attendees were encouraged by auctioneer Peter Anning of Mission College to bid often and bid high for charity. The proceeds from the luncheon would help fund scholarships for women reentering the workforce, the “S” Club at Wilcox High School and the Soroptimist Christmas Store.
Forty new and gently used handbags lined the tables surrounding the banquet room. As attendees filed in, each was given a list of rules and sponsors as well as an auction list stating the contents of each bag.
One of the most coveted, and expensive, handbags had a $1,050 value. The “Colorful Leather Bag” came with a September 29 to October 6, 2012 vacation at the Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort donated by Kathleen Lockwood and travel clock donated by J.B. Trophies. The Hawaiian accommodations came with a two bedroom, two bathroom air conditioned living space with a fully equipped kitchen, separate living and dining areas, a king bed and a Jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom, a queen bed in the guest room and a queen sleeper sofa in the living area. As the final auction of the afternoon, the “colorful leather bag” ended up going for $1200.
Another bag auctioned for over retail value was the “Kathy Von Zealand Bag.” The bag came with IFLY Indoor Sky Diving for two donated by Miles and Linda Barber and a bottle of Toques Clochers French Champagne. The bag and its contents were valued at $160, but sold for $180. The increase in price was partly due to Anning’s personal experience with indoor skydiving and his ability to get the crowed excited about the opportunity.
Throughout the afternoon Anning not only exhibited his auctioneering skills, but provided comedic relief. Although, he kept bidders on their toes, Anning was, at one point, upstaged by one of the attendees when he asked if anyone knew how to say handbag in Italian and someone shouted out “Gucci.”
Not only was there plenty to bid on, but the Kappa Theta chapter of ESA put together a group of great raffle prizes. For $20, attendees could purchase $23 raffle tickets to place in six themed bags. The “Buon Appetito – Viene a Mangiare” (Good Appetite – Come and Eat) package was valued at $200 and contained nearly all of the ingredients necessary to create a three course Italian feast. There was also a Chocolate prize valued at $400, a Mexican prize valued at $200, a Wine prize valued at $150, an Accessories prize with approximately 50 items valued at $200 and a Vacation prize. “The Perfect Getaway” prize included a weekend trip to Napa, picnic basket with bottles of wine, a $50 Visa gift card and a value of $1100.
“We had a tremendous turnout,” said SISC secretary Elizabeth Barron. “For a first time out, it was great.”
For more information on Soroptimist Santa Clara visit www.soroptimist.org. For additional information on Epsilon Sigma Alpha visit www.epsilonsigmaalpha.org.