This year’s event will be the 4th annual Handbags for Hope, and it’s slated for February 26 at the Cincinnati Club downtown.
According to the Literacy Network’s Director of Communications and Grant Writer Kim Raterman McDermott, the idea for the event is to welcome those from across the Tri-State to celebrate literacy in the city in a one-of-a-kind way.
The night features a number of activities including live and silent auctions of handbags, raffles, cocktails, dinner and entertainment. “The Literacy Network hosts the event to raise awareness and funding for our children and adult literacy programs,” explains Raterman McDermott.
The Literacy Network’s President, Kathy A. Ciarla, started Handbags for Hope because she wanted to raise awareness and funds for the programs in order to honor the students who are working hard to improve literacy and serve as an inspiration for those around them.
“We wanted to bring the community together in a unique way and create a one-of-a-kind evening designed to inspire guests and treat them to a great night out to help improve literacy,” Ciarla says.
Raterman McDermott also says that the event is also about reminding people that without the ability to read, many things in life are challenging. It’s also about empowering Handbags for Hope attendees to make a difference and help grow the programs that serve those in need.
“The Cincinnati Club and their staff are extremely helpful and supportive of the Literacy Network staff in helping make this event a success,” says Raterman McDermott.
In addition to the Cincinnati Club, there is a huge team that is behind the event. Ally Kraemer, multimedia journalist at WCPO Channel 9 News, will be this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies, Big Dave, Chelsea and Jason statt from the B105 Mornign Show promote and attend the event and Maggie Beckmeyer from Auctions by Maggie will host the live auction.
Then there’s event co-chairs Josh and Melissa Gerth who have worked for the last year to support the Literacy Network as well as Sharon Johnson and Jarmall Sweeten who will be honored for their work in the Adult Literacy Program.
Event sponsors for Handbags for Hope include Tri-County Mall, Raymond James, Charitable Words Scholars, Holy Grail-Banks, Zaring Family Foundation, Merrill Lynch, Busam Nissan, Ulmer & Berne LLP, Keating Muething & Klekamp, Scripps Foundation, Empower Media Marketing, Fifth Third Bank, Diamonds Rock, Read Aloud, David Powell-Bill Gerth (Partner), Ken and Cathy Feldmann, Graydon Head, Mercy Health: Dr. Robert Cranley, Mansion Hill Custom Floors, Kroger, Macy’s, Spark People, Prestige, Jeff and Lee Rose, Auctions by Maggie, M. Hopple & Co., The Cobb Group, Mary Meinhardt, Katy Meinhardt, Fox 19 News, B105, Saks Fifth Avenue and Josh and Melissa Gerth.
“All of our amazing event sponsors, prize sponsors, board members, volunteers and supporters continue to make the event a success and help it grow so we can serve more adults and children throughout the city who struggle with literacy,” says Raterman McDermott.
A limited number of tickets for Handbags for Hope are still available. You can purchase them by calling the Literacy Network at 513-621-7323.