Purse & Passion Raises $435,546



YWCA Central Alabama hosted its final Purse & Passion on Thursday, March 3. Thank you to everyone who was able to tune in to the live streamed, virtual event! We are happy to report the YW raised $435,546 as of March 23, 2022. We will continue collecting donations through the end of March at purseandpassion.swell.gives.


We would like to especially acknowledge our Presenting and Hope sponsors.

  • Presenting: Harbert Management Corporation, Medical Properties Trust, Williamson Martin and Brooke Family Foundation
  • Hope: Alabama Power, McKinney Capital, PNC, Protective, Regions Bank


YWCA Central Alabama’s annual Purse & Passion is the YW’s largest fundraiser, raising crucial funds to support domestic violence services; child and youth development programs; and safe, affordable housing. This fundraising event helps us help women, children, and families chart a course for a brighter future.

Purse & Passion began as a celebration to highlight the YWCA’s mission to empower women and girls through a wide range of programs and services that enrich and transform their lives under the leadership of the visionary CEO, Suzanne Durham. It honored women like Anna Somerville McLester, the very first Medallion Woman of Honor.

Purse & Passion grew into a premier charitable event with thousands of attendees over the years.  In 2003, our YW commemorated its centennial. That year the annual Purse & Passion theme was: “Because the most important thing we can carry with us is compassion. We reflected on two decades of Purse & Passion history in 2019.

In 2020, an unprecedented time brought on by a global pandemic, YWCA Central Alabama learned what it truly means to “pivot” and hosted our first-ever virtual Purse & Passion. It was a bold step! But, you rose to the challenge and helped us meet our fundraising goal.

The 2022 event was our third virtual incarnation of what had traditionally been an in-person luncheon with a room full of supporters and friends. The time has come for us to “pivot” once again.

As YWCA Central Alabama CEO Dr. LaRhonda Magras said during the event, “Your YWCA is stepping boldly into cutting-edge event fundraising to further our mission and empower those who need us most. We’re expecting to wrap up our planning this fall, but it pleases me to announce that on March 8, 2023, we’ll offer you a modern, edgy, formal affair at the beautiful Alabama Theatre!”

She said there is also a plan to “take YWCA Central Alabama’s story on the road by traveling to homes and other small, intimate settings in the communities we serve to share stories about the impact our work and your donations have had on the lives of so many grateful people.”

We believe the timing is perfect since 2023 marks 120 years of YWCA Central Alabama’s impact!

Magras said, “The prestigious Purse & Passion affair will retain a fond place in our history and serve as a reminder that every beautiful sunset fuels anticipation for something even more exhilarating and groundbreaking.

YWCA Central Alabama has the courage to look toward the future because we know we can count on you – our friends, donors, volunteers and YWCA team members who breathed life into every Purse & Passion, past and present.

Thank You Purse and Passion Donors
YWCA Central Alabama’s annual Purse & Passion program was a virtual, live stream presented on March 3. The event sunsets as a new experience that includes local gatherings and an exciting in-person event in 2023.