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Power of the Purse luncheon to focus on children

BATON ROUGE, Feb. 20, 2014 — As you dress each morning, the items you choose to carry with you reflect your expectations for the day ahead. Your purse is indicative of your preparations. It’s also symbolic of the power of the resources you command.

The American Red Cross, with support from business leaders, is hosting its annual Power of the Purse luncheon Tuesday, March 11 at the Baton Rouge Renaissance Hotel. It’s a celebration of the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross – preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies.

“The luncheon includes an auction of some terrific bags for women and men: beautiful and useful choices for an evening of dancing, an afternoon of golf, an overnight trip, or a weekend of home improvement,” said Bobbi Zaunbrecher, chapter executive for the Louisiana Capital Area. “We want you to have fun while you are helping others.”

Because of that donor generosity, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of “silent disasters” such as home fires, as well as larger disasters such as tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. Military members and their families receive special Red Cross services in the United States and worldwide when they are deployed. The Red Cross trains thousands, who can give CPR after someone has a heart attack or save a drowning child. And donors help eradicate measles around the world, one child at a time.

At the March luncheon, guests are invited to lend a hand and become part of the Red Cross:

  • Work on a household plan to be ready for emergencies.
  • Download free preparedness apps to know what to do.
  • Become a Red Cross volunteer.
  • Make a financial contribution.
  • The Power of the Purse luncheon – part of “March is Red Cross Month” activities – will be Tuesday, March 11 at the Renaissance Hotel, 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge. Register at or by calling (225) 291-4533. The luncheon begins at noon; doors open at 11 a.m. for the purse auction. Tickets are $50 for individuals, or $500 for a table of 10.

    The program will focus on Red Cross programs that benefit children. Attendees will hear about a child who survived Hurricane Katrina because she learned to swim, how volunteers comfort children after devastating home fires, how the Pillowcase Project’s combination of art and survival skills empower children and the impact of a single dollar toward world health.

    The Red Cross is grateful for the support of community leaders, like BASF’s Tom Yura, whose gifts sustain the nonprofit’s service.

    “BASF is committed to responsible corporate philanthropy and helping improve the quality of life in communities where our employees live and work,” said Yura, senior vice president and manager of the BASF site in Geismar. “With our support of the American Red Cross, our local community will continue to receive the compassionate assistance needed in times of emergencies and disasters.”

    In addition to BASF, Power of the Purse event sponsors include Albemarle Foundation; Porteous, Hainkel & Johnson, LLP; Triton Stone Group; Whitney Bank; Amedisys; Coca-Cola Bottling Company United; First Bank and Trust; SoftwareONE; Cajun Industries, LLC; and Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP, CPAs.

    Zaunbrecher encourages community members to attend the Power of the Purse event. “Join us March 11 for a look at the life-saving and life-changing work of the Red Cross, here in our community and across the globe,” she said.