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Purse Bingo sold out, but you can still help children’s welfare nonprofit

Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center's Designer Purse Bingo

Table decorating contests will add to the fun when over 700 people descend on the Horseshoe Bay Resort Grand Ballroom on Feb. 25 for a chance to snag a luxury handbag at the 11th annual Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center Designer Purse Bingo. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

Each year, Designer Purse Bingo bags funds for the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center. This year’s event on Feb. 25 at Horseshoe Bay Resort is sold out, but people can still donate to the cause.

In its 11th year, the contest’s popularity continues to grow, said Lora Cheney, the nonprofit center’s development coordinator.

“We’ve sold out the last three years,” she said. “Every year, it gets sold out a little sooner than it did last time.”

Up for grabs at this year’s fundraiser are bags by Brahmin, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Kate Spade, and more. 

Several notable local figures, including law enforcement and elected officials, will strut their stuff as purse models.

“Those guys get a huge kick out of it,” Cheney said. 

Guests can also compete in a table-decorating contest and for raffle and auction prizes.

“It’s a crazy, fun, wild time,” Cheney said. “It’s a long day, but it’s fun.”

All that fun helps a very serious cause.

The Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center provides trauma-informed care to children and families in Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, Llano, and San Saba counties.

“We work with sexually abused kids and their families,” Cheney said. “All of this is at no charge to them.”

Founded in 1992, the center works closely with law enforcement and Child Protective Services to help protect children from their abusers.

“The only way you can come to our facility is either through CPS or law enforcement,” Cheney said. “We’re a closed facility to the public. It’s a safe environment for (victims).”

The center offers services such as family advocacy and counseling. Advocates and counselors also help families find government assistance programs.

Another key service is forensic interviewing. The process lets survivors give a detailed record of their experiences to a qualified forensic interviewer. 

“The entire interview is videoed and recorded,” Cheney said. “That way, if the case makes it to court, it can be submitted as evidence. It also makes it where the child only has to tell the story once.”

Cheney said about 70 percent of the nonprofit’s budget is funded through state and federal grants; the rest relies on fundraisers such as Designer Purse Bingo.

“Every dime goes back into the facility,” she said. “It goes into making sure that these kids get everything they need at no cost for their families.”

You can donate directly to the Hill Country Children’s Advocacy Center on its website.