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WomenSource hosts annual Power of the Purse fundraiser
Event included fashion show, designer purse raffle
Katie Dubnik models an outfit at the Chattahoochee Country Club Thursday evening during the WomenSource fourth annual Power of the Purse fundraising benefit celebrating women’s philanthropy.

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The Times’ Brandee Thomas will give her first-person account of strutting the catwalk for charity in Tuesday’s Life section.

The Chattahoochee Country Club was filled with "ooh's" and "ahh's" Thursday night as about 250 women caught a glimpse of the latest fashions.

The fashion show was part of WomenSource's fourth annual Power of the Purse fundraising event.

"The power in the purse is really about the power that women have with their finances now and that women are becoming very philanthropic, and women have a lot of power that way to give to organizations," said Robyn Lynch, co-chair of WomenSource.

Along with the display of fashions, guests were treated to dinner and a designer purse raffle.

The money raised from the event will be used to benefit WomenSource, which is a nonprofit organization designed to "enhance the lives personally and professionally for women in our community," Lynch said.

The turnout had many in attendance impressed and glad they attended.

"I walked in and there was so many people, and I think we've had a wonderful turnout," said Lou Durden
of Gainesville.

"I had decided not to come because I had something else tonight ... then my friend that was with me said ‘Oh this is going to be so much fun.' So she influenced me."

Seven local clothing retailers displayed their latest fall and winter fashions during the fashion show. Models were several women from Gainesville and surrounding areas.

It was obvious the focus was on fashion.

"It's a wonderful organization and they do a lot of good work, and besides I like the clothes," said Joan Hogan of Gainesville.

Melissa Corral of Gainesville was selected as the All About You —A Day of Beauty winner and was treated to a spa session and makeover.

"I was just really excited because I wanted to get my hair done and feel special for a day." Corral said
For the majority of the women, modeling the latest fashions was their first such experience.

"It was very fun and exciting getting your hair done, make-up done, being pampered for a night," said Julie Thompson, who added she hopes to model again in the future.

While many of the women were new to the modeling trade, others were veterans of the runway.

"I love it," said Carel Ann Daniel of Gainesville who has modeled locally in the past. "It's just fun. Friends are out there ... and it's a great way to promote Gainesville retailers."

Jackie Wallace, president of United Way of Hall County, was happy to witness the fashion show from the crowd after modeling at a previous event.

"It's fabulous," Wallace said. "It's been a lot of fun, and it's nice to be on this side enjoying the food."

Regardless of their modeling experience, though, all the women were simply there "to have a good time," as Liza Chapman of Dawsonville said.

Anslee Wilson recently began her own business — A Helping Hand Home Care — and was looking to network with women in the community.

"It's a great charity, and I do have a new business, so it's great for networking," Wilson said.

WomenSource also holds several other events throughout the year including educational seminars, health and finance series, and a program designed to teach teenage girls about finances and how to be successful.