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Soroptimist’s Annual Old Bag Luncheon Best Ever

Soroptimist's Annual Old Bag Luncheon Best Ever

In 2011, Soroptimist International Santa Clara Silicon Valley put on their first–ever Old Bag Luncheon and Auction. It was such a hit they’ve been doing it ever since. Every year draws more guests who say it’s among Santa Clara’s most entertaining charity events.

This year’s luncheon raised a record–breaking $17,000 for community service projects, according to event chair Marilee Dunn.

Soroptimist's Annual Old Bag Luncheon Best Ever

“Out of 200 people, 120 were returning guests from last year,” said Dunn. “It’s wonderful to see such community support.”


This year’s Feb. 28 event at David’s Restaurant in Santa Clara, co–sponsored by Kappa Theta sorority San Jose–Milpitas Chapter, drew about 200 people to bid on more than 40 treat–stuffed handbags, each individually designed by Club Director Birdie Pacelli. Each purse was a fashionable new or classic bag, and the items inside included vacations, gift certificates, and even a private sailing excursion on San Francisco Bay.

The auction’s grand finale was a football autographed by Jerry Rice and Steve Young, donated by the Forever Young Foundation. Not surprisingly, this drew some of the afternoon’s most spirited bidding and a big surprise: a second autographed football for the second highest bidder.

Auctioneer Peter Anning entertained the guests with his comic deadpan and running patter – while getting top dollar for each auction item. This was the former Mission College Marketing and PR Director’s fourth outing as Old Bag auctioneer, and his signature style is part of the event’s fun.

Soroptimist's Annual Old Bag Luncheon Best Ever

In addition to the auction, there were raffle prizes and door prizes for lucky ticket holders.

The raffle gift baskets were donated by Kappa Theta.

Soroptimist Santa Clara Silicon Valley’s service projects include Live Your Dream scholarships for women reentering the workforce, the club’s annual free Christmas Store and monthly birthday parties for children at HomeSafe’s battered women’s transitional housing in Santa Clara and San Jose. Visit for more information on Soroptimist Club International.


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