Women United of Lake County raises record $66,750 for early education

2021 Power of the Purse hybrid event surpasses fundraising goal

United Way

GURNEE -- Nearly 200 generous women joined forces both in person and virtually Nov. 7, to raise a record total $66,750 in support of early education programs that will ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.

The money was raised through Women United’s signature annual fundraising event, Power of the Purse, which celebrates women, friendship and philanthropy.

This year’s Power of the Purse was a first-ever hybrid event with both a sold-out champagne brunch at Royal Melbourne Country Club and an online buying and bidding shopping experience featuring dozens of trendy designer bags, silent auction purses, baskets and items. In addition, women also had the opportunity to send underserved children to a Kindergarten Countdown Camp for incoming kindergarten students with little to no preschool experience, as well as buy books and toys for preschool learning centers in Lake County’s low-income communities.

“We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this year’s event,” event chair Judy Kotsiopoulos said in a news release. “It’s our most successful Power of the Purse to date and the first time we have held an in-person event with an online option. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm from our members and friends who truly care about early childhood education in Lake County.”

The Little Kids, Big Futures Fund is directed by members and since 2014 Women United has raised and granted $850,000 for early education programs with the goal of creating lasting change in Lake County.

Women United of Lake County recognizes the sponsors for this year’s event, including Platinum Sponsor: P&G; Sapphire Sponsor: Great Lakes Credit Union; Gold Sponsor: Law Offices of Judy Maldonado; HEROES Sponsor: Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Nurses; Premium Sponsor: First Midwest Bank; Buy a Book, Build a Future Sponsors: Libertyville Bank & Trust, Wells Fargo; Buy It Now Purse Sponsor: High-Impact Consulting; Buy a Toy, Build a Learning Center Sponsors: Harris & Harris, Nichols Crane Rental; Buy a Supply Pack, Prepare a Kid for School Sponsor: Waukegan Mayor Ann B. Taylor; Kindergarten Summer BOOST Learning Program Sponsors: Valenti Interiors; Early Bird Raffle Sponsor: Frances Simons, Baird & Warner Lake Zurich; Thank You Sponsors: Aon, Austin’s Saloon & Eatery, Sysmex.

To learn more about membership with Women United, join their upcoming Wine & Learn prospective member event from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 via Zoom. For information, contact Diana Nielander, manager of Women United, at Diana.Nielander@uwlakeco.org.