Power of the Purse Attracts Ballroom Crowd To Hartford

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purse1 (3)Tererai Trent has overcome obstacles including a forced teenaged marriage, domestic abuse, poverty, and a  Zambabwean culture that did not allow her to go to school. But she overcame it all, went on to be Oprah’s “favorite guest of all time” and wowed 1,200 women Tuesday at the United Way’s Leadership Council “Power of the Purse “luncheon at the Connecticut Convention Center.

And with all her success and celebrity, the celebrated speaker and author could not get over her Hartford souvenir, barely purple eyeshadow.

“I never wear make-up,” said the charming Trent about the makeover before hitting the pre-luncheon sponsor meet-and-greet. “They had a very nice lady to do make-up and she insisted,” she said smiling referring to stylist Evelyn Miller. “I don’t know if makeup makes you feel stronger as strong as a woman but I like it.”

But her strength shined through, make-up and all as she left the audience believing that no matterpurse1 what the challenges of life are, you can overcome them if you believe and have the drive.

“I was complaining this morning that the coffeemaker didn’t work when I got up,” said Susan Henderson, a West Hartford resident who attended with friends. “Then I hear Dr. Trent’s story and geez, who cares about the coffeemaker.”

The annual event not only attracts a ballroom-sized crowd, but a giant-sized display of upscale purses ranging from Tory Burch and Buco, to Mary Frances and Coach, all part of the popular silent auction that benefits the United Way.

purse3 (3)And among the hundreds of new and stylin’ handbags were 150 that Stackpole Moore Tryon Tuesdays Jody Morneault gathered up from customers.

“We put out the call and the donations came,” said Morneault who donated several purses from her store to the auction. “Next year we will get the words out even earlier and get more donations.”


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