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Columbia Missourian

True North's Purse Passion raises money for domestic abuse victims

By Melissa Gilstrap
October 20, 2011 | 10:23 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — At the True North fundraiser, Purse Passion, on Thursday dozens of women and a few men bid for purses in a silent auction.

Frankie Minor, who serves on the True North board of directors, made people laugh when he cheered about winning a bracelet in a raffle.

"I personally don't get too excited about purses," Minor said. "I've got three daughters, and all the donations go to a good cause."

True North, a nonprofit shelter for domestic abuse victims, held its fourth annual Purse Passion silent auction at The Market Place, 1100 Business Loop 70 W., on Thursday to raise money for the shelter's services. Fifty handbags and accessories ranging from original value prices of $25 to $520 were up for auction.

In 2010, Purse Passion raised about $8,500 for True North, Brenda Kidwell, assistant executive director, said. The goal for this year was to make about the same amount.

"(Domestic violence) affects more people than I think the community wants to believe because a lot of people don't want to talk about it," Kidwell said. "We try to do events like this — not only does it raise money, we also get to increase awareness."

During the two-hour event, president of the True North board of directors Laura Crouch garbed herself in a purple feather boa while she checked on friends and browsed the display of purses.

"I'm the funny one with the feathers and the title," Crouch said.

Crouch chose purple not only because she likes the color but also because she said it is the official color of October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Kidwell, who also dressed in purple, talked about a world without domestic violence.

"Women could come and go as they please and not be in fear," Kidwell said. "To gain their independence and have a life free of domestic violence is just the dreams and hopes of many women."