Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
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WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach’s most popular charity luncheon of the season, the Center for Family Services’ Thirteenth Annual Old Bags Luncheon was an exciting and inspiring event with guest speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy. Leigh Anne was portrayed by Sandra Bullock in the movie The Blind Side which won her an Oscar for her performance. 600 guests gathered at The Breakers on March 22 for this highly-anticipated luncheon that featured over 325 designer handbags for supporters to bid on in the silent auction. Sharon Apple and Judi Richards served as chairwomen of this sold-out event. Lisa Erdmann, Erin McGould and Amie Swan were honorary chairwomen.
Leigh Anne encouraged the audience to recognize the full potential of individuals in their community—and to find value in those who society has deemed valueless. She shared her personal Blind Side observations, from seeing Michael Oher for the first time to how the experience changed her as a person—and the Tuohys as a family. “He had a much greater impact on our lives than we did on his life,” says Leigh Anne. She praised The Center for Family Services (CFS) for their dedicated work to help all of those in need of love, hope and opportunity, and reminded guests that we all can make a difference in someone’s life and what better way to get involved than with The Center for Family Services.
“We were very excited to have Leigh Anne Tuohy as our guest speaker this year at the Old Bags Luncheon because we felt she was a perfect fit for our mission of strengthening families through counseling, education and homeless intervention,” stated Dorla Leslie, CEO of CFS. “During these difficult economic times and budget restraints, events such as this luncheon become even more necessary to assist raising the much-needed funds to be able to serve our community,” she added.
Almost two years after The Blind Side burst onto the scene, breaking box office records and inspiring individuals nationwide, Leigh Anne continues to make an impact. In July 2010, Leigh Anne and her husband, Sean, released the New York Times best-seller, In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving, and established their charity, Making it Happen. Through both projects, Leigh Anne continues her mission to inspire hope, ignite generosity, and make it happen for the deserving, but underserved youth.
Saks Fifth Avenue was the Platinum Corporate Benefactor and Kaufmann de Suisse, Palm Beach was the Gold Corporate Benefactor. Silent Auction Benefactor-Neiman Marcus; Silent Auction Patrons- Harl Taylor BAG and Salvatore Ferragamo; Benefactors included: Sharon and Roy Apple, Lisa and Peter Erdmann, Sheryll and David Harkins, Erin and Sean McGould, Patty Myura-The Eleanor Patterson Reeves Foundation, Kit and William Pannill, Judi and Ray Richards, and Amie and Jack Swan. Platinum Patrons were Air Partner, Deutsche Bank, Connie Frankino, Mary Stanton, and Mary and Mark Freitas.
Proceeds from the Old Bags Luncheon benefited The Center for Family Services’ programs provided to children who suffer from domestic violence, sexual abuse or homelessness.