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Buy A Purse: Change a Life!

Media contact: David Perry & Associates, Inc. (415) 676-7007 / 

Tickets Now On Sale!

Buy A Purse: Change a Life!

Special Events This Weekend Raise Money for BCEF!

 – Saturday, September 14 –
at Gimme Shoes, Alice+Olivia & Elevate Women’s Conference

15th Anniversary “This Old Bag: The Power of the Purse” Fundraising Gala at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel on October 25 

11 September 2019 – San Francisco: Buy a Purse: Change a Life! That’s the fun-and-fashion-filled challenge coming at the 15th Annual “This Old Bag” Gala, Friday October 25th at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel. This Saturday, September 14, there’s a trio of events — all raising money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund (, and paving the way for October’s “This Old Bag” Gala! First up, the ELEVATE Women’s Conference, spearheaded in part by the fabulous “Freska” Griarte of 96.5 KOIT and a former BCEF client, with all proceeds benefiting BCEF, takes place this Saturday in South San Francisco. Click below for more information and to buy your tickets:

Also this Saturday, two of San Francisco’s finest stores – Gimme Shoes (416 Hayes Street) and Alice + Olivia (2259 Fillmore)– are sponsoring “A Neighborhood Bag Challenge”. Simply stop by either store, 11am – 4pm, and drop off your new or slightly used fashion-forward handbag to be part of the upcoming “This Old Bag” fundraiser on October 25.

“It really is true what we say: buy a purse and change a life,” said Cynthia Hester, President of Breast Cancer Emergency Fund’s Board of Directors. “Every bag sold gives life and spirit-saving financial assistance to low-income people battling breast cancer. Where else can you feel so good about shopping for designer bags, celebrity-signed collectibles, bags for women, men, children, pets, fashionistas and civic and business leaders.”

The 15th Anniversary “This Old Bag: The Power of the Purse” fundraiser takes place on Friday, October 25 at San Francisco’s historic Fairmont Hotel. This year, in addition to a record number of new designs and international contributions, Liam Mayclem, award-winning “Foodie Chap” of KCBS / KCBS 5, will serve up British wit and continental charm as celebrity emcee and auctioneer. For more information and to buy tickets, go online to:

Since its inception in 2005, This Old Bag has sold over 2,500 bags to help Bay Area women and men during their challenging diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. The idea: fundraising for breast cancer need not be dull. In fact, it should be fun and life-affirming. Over the last 15 years, artists, artisans, celebrities, politicians, and local fashion mavens have all been inspired by the “power of the purse,” donating glamorous, unique and one-of-a-kind handbags for the benefit of the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. A small sampling of bags already donated this year include:

  • An elegant grey Longchamp tote donated by Sharon Stone
  • Two exquisite vintage Hermès bags donated by Julian Lopez
  • Stella McCartney bag donatedby Chelsea Handler
  • Salvatore Ferragamo bag donated by Kristen Bell
  • A “Rocker’s Dream Bag” donated by Deborah Harry and signed by members of Blondie, Cheap Trick andThe B-52s

Those donated handbags have a huge impact. “The average monthly income of our clients is $825,” said Karen Edwards, BCEF’s Interim Executive Director, a number that sits in stark contrast to the soaring rents in the Bay Area. “Unfortunately, a diagnosis of breast cancer often means losing your job, your insurance, and your home. Breast Cancer Emergency Fund provides a safety net that no one else provides, paying essential bills like rent, utilities, and insurance premiums that make it possible to maintain a stable living situation during treatment.”

Breast Cancer Emergency Fund exists to fill that very need: providing immediate financial assistance to low-income people battling breast cancer when they are too sick to work. Since 2001, Breast Cancer Emergency Fund has served over 4,000 people in San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, providing over $3.6 million dollars in assistance to help our clients maintain financial stability during a devastating illness.

For more information about Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, and further to-be-announced details about the 15th Anniversary This Old Bag: The Power of the Purse at San Francisco’s storied Fairmont Hotel on Friday, October 25, please go online to