AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — It’s almost that time of year again, preparations for the 14th annual Power Of the Purse Luncheon are underway.

“We generally have 900 or 950 guests,” said Angela Knapp Eggers, Senior Director of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo. “It’s our annual fundraiser for the Laura Bush Institute that enables us to provide funding for some research across many campuses of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, across Texas.”

Eggers told us that proceeds from the event also help develop a curriculum, sex and gender medicine, and expand community outreach.

It also benefits the upcoming Human Trafficking Symposium in October, which organizers noted raises awareness of an increasing problem in the area.

“For healthcare providers, they need to recognize what is going on right in front of them, because so many of these victims end up in their clinics or in their dentist’s chair,” Eggers explained.

Eggers shared some of the signs to look for.

“Some of the victims are they have tattoos where they are branded. A lot of times they may come into an emergency room and they don’t even know what city they’re in. And they don’t get to answer any of the questions a healthcare provider may ask them. Instead, the person that they’re with may answer all the questions for them, which is a really big red flag,” she said.

The keynote speaker for the event is Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City, UT in 2002, at just 14 years old. She’s now an advocate for missing children in sexual assault.

In the main event, more than 150 purses will be up for grabs.

“They’re going to range in price from $25 up to $2,500. We have about 50% of them are brand new purses, the rest of them are gently loved and very well cleaned and taken care of,” Eggers said.

All of it aimed at making the area safer and more resourceful one purse at a time.

For more information on the Power Of the Purse Luncheon, click here.

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