United Way of Paducah-McCracken County and Paducah Professional Women (PPW) are getting ready to host the 4th annual “Power of the Purse” luncheon and silent purse auction. Join them on Tuesday, April 10, at 11:30 am for a fun, exciting and uplifting event. The lunch takes place at Walker Hall Events Center, in downtown Paducah. 

Power of the Purse is being held on Women’s Equal Pay Day and will focus on empowering women in the workplace. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data shows women working full-time, year-round, make 79 cents for every dollar a male earns. African American women earn only 65.2 percent, Asian American women 91.9 percent and Hispanic women only 54.4 percent of the pay. This data illustrates the need for women to be encouraged and empowered to gain their full value in the workplace.

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In 2017 the Power of the Purse raised more than $32,000, and all proceeds benefited the two host organizations. The title sponsor of the event is Baptist Health Paducah. 

The Power of the Purse features an auction of amazing purses that have been donated by individuals and businesses from all over the area. They will have a wide variety of price points and styles up for auction. Here is a teaser of just three that will be there…

iLove ItMichael Kors leather purse with scarf and matching wallet- donated by realtor Sara Gipson - valued at $510.

A Coach leather purse with matching wallet, donated by Old Dusty Dog - valued at $375.

Michael Kors purse, donated by Amy Roof - valued at $398.

 “The United Way of Paducah-McCracken County and Paducah Professional Women partner on the Power of the Purse event to bring awareness to women’s equality,” said Betsy Burkeen, United Way Executive Director. “This event has exceeded our expectations in every way. It’s fun, refreshing, encouraging, and an amazing reminder of what women can do when we set our minds on something. There is Power in the Purse!”

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Advance reservations are required. Individual tickets are $45, and corporate sponsorships are available. Power of the Purse founding members will be recognized. For information, contact Susan Gibson at 270.442.1691 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Reservation deadline is March 27 or sell out date.

Speakers Dr. Cecile Garmon & Dr. Evelyn Thrasher

Dr. Cecile Garmon brings a distinguished career of leadership at WKU to her position as Director of the Center for Leadership Excellence and Knicely Professor of Leadership at WKU.   Along with her role as a communication professor, she also has served in several areas of university administration.

Her research interests include the impact of culture on communication, the role of culture in leadership communication, women’s leadership communication, and leadership behaviors in Africa and Latin America.

Dr. Evelyn Thrasher serves as the Knicely Faculty Fellow in the Center for Leadership Excellence. In this role, she assists with the planning and delivery of programs developed within the Center. Dr. Thrasher was a member of the first cohort of the WKU Faculty Leadership Year Program in 2015, and she is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Kentucky.

Dr. Thrasher has presented at International Leadership Association Conferences and the LEAD Conference; and she has a chapter in the book Gender, Communication, and the Leadership Gap, published by the International Leadership Association. In addition to her role in the Center for Leadership Excellence, Dr. Thrasher is an Associate Professor of Information Systems and the AASCB Accreditation Coordinator for Continuous Improvement for the Gordon Ford College of Business.