Power of the Purse proceeds support Imagination Library

“Inspiring kids to love to read became my mission,” says Dolly Parton, famous country singer and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. “In the beginning, my hope was to simply inspire the children in my home county, but here we are today with a worldwide program that gives a book a month to well over 1 million children. 

Parton started the Imagination Library in her Sevier County, Tenn., because she believes literacy is the foundation for kids to succeed. The program mails one free book per month to children from birth to 5 years old, regardless of income or socioeconomic background. 

Access to reading materials at an early age gives children a head start on their education and better prepares them for a lifetime of success. 

“Of course, I have not done this alone,” Parton says. “The real heroes of our story are the thousands of local organizations who have embraced my dream and made it their own. They raise millions of dollars each year and wake up every day with a passion to make sure their kids have every opportunity to succeed.”  

Here in Monongalia County, that organization is Women United, an affinity group of the United Way of Mon and Preston Counties. It raises funds to help keep the Imagination Library sending books to kids right here in our community. 

One of the main fundraisers for the Imagination Library is Power of the Purse, which is set for June 27 at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center. 

The evening, which runs from 5:30-9 p.m., features purse raffles, a live auction, a wine pull, entertainment, food, drinks and fun. Tickets are $100 per person and include a pack of raffle tickets for various purse drawings, entertainment, dinner and two drinks. 

Once at the event, attendees can purchase even more raffle tickets for the regular drawings, as well as a high-end purse, or bid on one of the exciting live auction items, which include a stay at the Greenbrier Resort, a Gucci purse and much more. 

Tickets are available at unitedwaympc.org/potptickets. Sponsorships are also available at unitedwaympc.org/potpsponsors. In addition to attending or sponsoring, Women United is also looking for help with the fundraiser in other ways. 

The organization needs wine donations for the wine pull, which was very successful at last year’s Power of the Purse. Bottles of wine, which must be worth at least $20 per bottle, can be dropped off at the United Way of Mon and Preston Counties’ office at 278-C Spruce St., Morgantown. Please call ahead at 304-296-7525 if you plan to make a drop off. 

The group is also still looking for new purse donations, which can also be dropped off at the United Way office. If you would be interested in buying a purse or donating money to purchase one, you can learn more by contacting Sabrina Cave at [email protected]

If you would like to make an in-kind donation of an item, gift card or experience, please contact Amy Armentrout at [email protected]. To find out more about sponsoring for Power of the Purse, email Tina Spangler at [email protected]

Proceeds from Power of the Purse go toward Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Monongalia County. 

Amanda Posey is the director of marketing and communications at the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties. She can be reached at [email protected]