Each year 600 people come together to improve the lives of Olmsted County children and youth at United Way’s annual Power of the Purse event. Presented by United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, this fundraiser features a well-known keynote speaker, a popular silent purse auction, and a delicious luncheon with the goal of helping children and youth reach their potential. The Women’s Leadership Council and Power of the Purse Distinguished Sponsor Bremer Bank are excited to announce Elizabeth Smart as the 2017 keynote speaker.
From a typical middle school student to a kidnapping victim held captive for nine months, the abduction and recovery of Elizabeth Smart captured the nation's attention. Emerging as an irrefutable model of strength and perseverance in the face of unimaginable adversity, Smart is now the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, a New York Times best-selling author, and a daily demonstration that there is life after a tragic event. With bravery and wisdom far beyond her years, Smart captivates audiences with her story and insight on overcoming adversity, the importance and process of recovery, and not allowing one's past to dictate one's future.
“Ms. Smart’s journey speaks to the need for resilence and persistence in the face of adversity, something the people helped by United Way are all too familiar with,” United Way President Jerome Ferson said. “United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community, and our community is stronger when it comes together to tackle the complex issues people in need are currently experiencing.”
Power of the Purse 2017 Chair Gail Sauter remarked, “Each year we are energized by this exciting event and are reminded there is still work to do.” Power of the Purse helps children and youth reach their potential by serving as a fundraiser for United Way’s work, which includes providing quality early childhood programming, connecting youth to caring mentors, developing children’s reading abilities, and supplying students with the necessary tools they need to succeed in the classroom. By preparing young children for school and ensuring Olmsted County youth are achieving important milestones, the community is contributing both to their future success and the future success of the entire community.
Save the date to attend Power of the Purse on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at the Rochester International Event Center. Thank you to sponsors Bremer Bank, Rochester Athletic Club, and Think Mutual Bank for supporting this important community work. Businesses interested in sponsoring Power of the Purse should contact United Way of Olmsted County by calling (507) 287-2000.