Designer Bag Bingo brings in more than $30K for United Way 

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The Monograms Plus team is in it to win it, with eyes on the prize – well, their bingo cards, at United Way of Cullman County’s annual Designer Bag Bingo event on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. (Cayla Grace Murphy)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Laughter hung in the air as hundreds of women filled into The Venue at Cotton Creek on Thursday evening, Nov. 9, 2023, for the United Way of Cullman County’s annual Designer Bag Bingo event. While the event serves as an annual night out before the hustle and bustle of holiday season, 15 designer bags from brands like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Coach and Frye were on the line, leading to some intense competition and $30,600 in proceeds benefiting the United Way. 

This year’s event was the biggest and best yet, with 500 women selling out the event weeks beforehand, building anticipation for high-stakes wins of designer bags and chances for raffle prizes – chances that sold out before the games were even called, said Executive Director Waid Harbison, who served as a celebrity waiter for the night. 

“This is amazing, we’ve got 500 people, every chair has been filled, so we have a ton of support here,” he beamed, waving to the women in the crowded venue. “We’re just starting out and we’ve already sold out of our raffle tickets, so people seem just to be lining up to support United Way!”  

Harbison said while the planning takes a lot of time and coordination on behalf of himself and Resource Development & Outreach Manager Stephanie Childers, they wouldn’t change it for anything, especially with this year being the biggest so far. 

“We love it! We think we’re going to clear maybe $30,000 this year, which will be a big jump from last year!” Harbison exclaimed.  

Before the games began, Board Chairman Brian Poole addressed the crowd, revealing Childers as the nonprofit’s new executive director, replacing Harbison, who announced his plans to leave the position back in September. The announcement was met with raucous applause.  

“We’ve got a great staff, and we’re very excited for the future of United Way. Waid was tremendous at what he did, and Stephanie has got some big shoes to fill. We know she can do it; we’ve got her back 100%!” smiled Poole, patting Childers on the back.  

Thus began the games of the evening as celebrity waiters modeled handbags and sold extra bingo cards. By the end of the evening, Harbison’s prediction was proven correct, with the event raking in $30,600 from tips to celebrity waiters and sales of tickets, raffle tickets and extra cards. 

Learn more about Childers at www.cullmantribune.com/2023/11/10/united-way-names-stephanie-childers-executive-director. 

To learn more about United Way of Cullman County, visit: www.uwaycc.org.  

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