With numbers increasing year-by-year, the interest in the annual Soroptimist Old Bag Luncheon continues to grow. And, with the recent increase in membership since the merger of Soroptimist Santa Clara and Soroptimist Silicon Valley, the group had outgrown Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant – the location of the event the past two years. So, with a new venue at David’s Restaurant across from the new Levi’s Stadium and 40 extra tickets sold, bringing the total to 220, the third annual Old Bag Luncheon went off without a hitch on Feb. 22.
“We have about a 20 percent increase in tickets sold from last year,” said Yvonne Galletta, who co-chaired the event with Marilee Dunn. “We knew we were growing and decided to move to David’s. They did an awesome job for us.”
As guests dined on a three-course meal prepared by the David’s staff, auctioneer Peter Anning, who has served as the master of ceremonies for every luncheon, cracked jokes and kept the event on schedule. “When he came [the first year] we were all blown away,” said Galletta. “He did such an awesome job and every time I call him and say ‘it’s that time of year,’ he says, ‘tell me the day and I’ll be there.'”
Anning pushed the bids up and auctioned off 43 handbags filled with items like tickets to a San Jose Sharks game, gift certificates to local restaurants, and weekend getaways, at the event attended by Santa Clara Council Members Pat Mahan, Lisa Gillmor, Teresa O’Neill and Debi Davis.
As always, there were bags that were won for relatively low bids, like the “Elegant Black” package that was auctioned for $125 and consisted of an Anne Klein bag, Apt. 9 shawl, bangle bracelet, beaded accessory case, Split of Freixnet Brute Sparkling wine, owl candle holder, flameless candles, bottle of J. Lohr wine, gift certificate for Shear Impressions and two season tickets to the Hillbarn Theatre.
There were big ticket items, as well, like the final auction of the afternoon, the “Palm Desert Get Away Club,” a package containing a vintage and authentic Bally handbag from 1990, and six night, seven day stay at the Desert Willow Golf Course – a pairing that fetched $1,300.
Galletta said those interested in next year’s event should buy their tickets early, as it is expected to be another sellout with all of the proceeds going to a good cause. The money raised (over $15,000 in auctions, plus additional money through raffle ticket sales) will go to furthering the all-volunteer organization’s mission of working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.