WINCHESTER — Plans for The Laurel Center‘s next fundraiser are in the bag.

The nonprofit’s annual Power of the Purse handbag auction and wine-tasting event will be held June 21 at Valerie Hill Vineyard and Winery, 1687 Marlboro Road near Stephens City.

“We’ll have about 100 purses,” said Cindy Marzullo, development director for the Winchester-based nonprofit that provides emergency shelter and support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. “We’re procuring some things for the guys, too, so it’s not just for women.”

The purses were donated to The Laurel Center and range from practical, everyday handbags to high-end designer brands including Kate Spade and Coach.

“It’s a chance to get a great deal,” Marzullo said.

The evening will include a live auction, a silent auction and raffle drawings, along with light fare provided by Village Square Restaurant on the Loudoun Street Mall and various wines served by the staff at Valerie Hill.

“They’re a great partner for us,” Marzullo said of the Frederick County winery, which is hosting Power of the Purse for the third year in a row. “It’s so beautiful out there.”

“For a moment, you can convince yourself you’re in Southern California,” Laurel Center Executive Director Faith Power said about the view at Valerie Hill. “Sitting there enjoying the scenery and drinking some good local wine, it’s pretty awesome.”

Power of the Purse will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is $55 per person, and tables for six are available for $275 each. Tickets can be purchased online at

“It’s an opportunity for people in the community to support The Laurel Center and have a discussion about domestic and sexual violence,” Power said. “We create a space where we can provide information to a group of people that ordinarily would not have this topic as part of their focus.”

The Laurel Center’s Emergency Shelter and Outreach Center at 402 N. Cameron St. can house 32 women and children on a short-term basis, and a transitional housing unit for another eight people is envisioned for the building’s third floor.

The nonprofit also offer counseling services to domestic and sexual assault victims, operates a retail store in a rented building at 37 E. Piccadilly St., and plans to open a workforce development center in a former CSX train station at 430 N. Cameron St. that it purchased in April.

For more information about The Laurel Center, visit

— Contact Brian Brehm at

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