Of the children entering kindergarten this fall around the region, the United Way of Central Kentucky said 51 percent are unprepared.

To help raise awareness and support for early childhood education, United Way is hosting Power of the Purse from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Aug. 17 at The Garage, a new meeting place at 100 Haycraft St. in downtown Elizabethtown, said Katie Kurtz, United Way of Central Kentucky’s director of development and communications.

The evening will comprise of dinner, dancing, signature drinks and an auction.

A highlight of the evening, Kurtz said, occurs when gentlemen take the stage in a fashion showcase of designer handbags, such as Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors and more.

The purse all contain items donated by local businesses. Examples of items inside each purse might include tickets, jewelry or gift cards.

Kurtz said it will be United Way of Central Kentucky’s second year hosting Power of the Purse. In 2018, she said more than 100 guests attended and collectively raised more than $10,000 to benefit United Way of Central Kentucky initiatives to improve early childhood education programs.

Like United Way of Southern Kentucky’s Hand­bags for Hope fund­raiser, Kurtz said all of the proceeds raised at the event will go toward helping prepare local children for kindergarten through initiatives such as United Way’s Born Learning Academies and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

“At United Way, we understand that a child’s earliest years lay the foundation for growth and development and what they learn during those years depends on the experiences they have each and every day,” Kurtz said. “With proceeds from Power of The Purse, and an approach to education that spans from cradle to career, we’re creating opportunities to help prepare children for success in school.”

Tickets will remain on sale through Aug. 17 and can be purchased at www.uwckpowerofthepurse2019.eventbrite.com. General admission is $50 and VIP tickets cost $100. Each VIP ticket includes reserved seating at VIP tables and the chance to win a limo ride to and from Power of the Purse.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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