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Monday, Aug. 14, 2017

What’s Your Purse-onality? Salvation Army’s Purses for A Purpose

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There’s nothing like the relationship between a woman and her favorite handbag.

Thank goodness the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Purses for a Purpose auction puts designer goods within reach while helping support programs for individuals in North Louisiana who literally have nowhere else to turn.

Women have always been a big part of the Salvation Army’s fundraising history of “providing practical support for people in need.” “The Women’s Auxiliary just started up again in 2012,” said Salvation Army’s Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Stephens. “I love the excitement of the ladies that are doing this fundraiser for us. They have such an honest joy in making it all happen.”

More than 1,000 purses will be available for sale and auction, including designers like Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Coach. Men are welcome, too, however and there will be plenty of awesome silent auction items up for grabs for them, including four LSU 50-yard line football tickets plus golf and fishing packages.

In addition to the purse sales, there will be a silent auction and live auction. There will be LAGNIAPPE items of jewelry, gift cards and other goodies donated by local couture stores, boutiques, department stores and fashion savvy individuals to add extra spice to the event.

“Almost all of the bags come with packages,” Stephens said. “We have a healthy girl packages with a sports bags and donated designer handbag packages like Dooney & Bourke. The purse is really only the beginning.”

The Salvation Army helps individuals who literally need it the most. “There was a young lady who contacted us because she was pregnant and had to quit her job due to the pregnancy and complications,” Stephens said. “She moved into the shelter and we were able to work with her and find her permanent housing and help with rental assistance until she had her baby. I am glad we are here to help people that have nowhere else to go.”

"All of the money raised will help fund Salvation Army programs right here in Shreveport-Bossier, such as Carla’s Haven and Boys and Girls Club,” Stephens said. “These programs provide support for local children, veterans, women, families and seniors.”

What’s Your Purse-onality: Purses for a Purpose is set for Saturday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Events on the Red in Bossier City. Sonja Bailes will emcee and Stacey Durante will be the auctioneer. Advanced tickets are $10 now through Aug. 22 and may be purchased online at www.purses2017.eventbrite. com or at The Salvation Army, 200 East Stoner. Tickets will be $15 at the door.

– Susan Reeks

2017 Grand Prix of Louisiana U.S. Powerboat Nationals on the Red River

The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, the Red River Waterway Commission, Powerboat Nationals LLC, and the American Power Boat Association, will host the 2017 Grand Prix of Louisiana - Outboard Performance Craft, U.S. Powerboat Nationals on the Red River, Sept. 2-3.

Professional racers from across the country and Canada will compete in eight different categories for this year’s ultimate titles. Between 50 and 60 powerboats are expected to race all weekend. The Powerboat Nationals has been called NASCAR on water because of the speed, agility and showmanship of the powerboats “We are so excited that the community, through our sponsors and partners, has helped us to expand this event for the citizens of Shreveport-Bossier, as well as our visitors,” said Kelly Wells, executive director of the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. “The national attention it garners, coupled with the visiting teams and out-of-town spectators, gives our area quite an economic boost over the holiday weekend.”

The event, slated for the Red River near the Texas Street Bridge, can be viewed for free from the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets, or from Riverview Park. Entertainment, food vendors and kids’ zone will be under the Texas Street Bridge at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets and on the Shreveport side from Riverview Park. For a full schedule of events, visit www.shreveportbossiersports.com. A test and tune will be held on Friday, Sept. 1, between 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the race site, with competitive racing starting at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings and ending at 7 p.m. both days. Bands perform both nights from 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Eric Gilmore, marketing director for the Red River Waterway Commission, stated their organization’s interest in the Powerboat Nationals. "The Commission's sole objective is to bring commercial and leisure traffic to the Red River and hosting the Powerboat Nationals in downtown Shreveport-Bossier allows visitors and citizens from North Louisiana to enjoy the river during a national sporting event and enjoy the businesses along the riverfront and downtown area, " Gilmore said. "We are always excited to partner with events which promote and utilize the river and invest funds that bring a strong economic impact to the North Louisiana region." Incredible tricks will be performed between 1 to 7 p.m. in between racing by hydrofoil, wake-board and hydro-flight professionals both Saturday and Sunday. Eight bands will entertain Saturday and Sunday.

Stoner Boat Launch is closed to the general public on Wednesday evening, Aug. 30, through Tuesday morning, Sept. 5. The public can alternatively launch from Arthur Teague or the Red River South Marina during these dates. The newly opened dog park will remain open from 5 a.m.-10 p.m. during the event. The public will be asked to use the parking lot closest to the skate park on Thursday-Monday of Labor Day weekend, and a small number of handicap parking spots will be available at Stoner near the entrance to the dog park.

The Red River from the I-20 Bridge north to Twelve Mile Bayou is closed except for in between racing from Friday through Sunday to the general public. The Caddo and Bossier Sheriffs' Departments will have water patrols to assist boaters with crossing these areas during limited breaks in racing between 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2 and 3.

Spectator boats are encouraged to come out and enjoy the races and will need to set up north of the Twelve Mile Bayou markers for the race and south of Horseshoe Casino. A rain date of Monday, Sept. 4, is scheduled should any kind of inclement weather hamper the competition. There will be pro wakeboard competitions, hydro-flights and hydrofoil exhibitions. This event is free and open to the public. It is from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days.

The Saturday and Sunday events will feature eight bands throughout the weekend along the riverfront at Riverview Park in Shreveport and the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets in Bossier City. Some of the bands include Southern Roots, Anxious, Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, Hotwired and the Dusty Rose Band. The LSU Tigers versus BYU Cougars game at 8:30 p.m. will be played on a large outdoor screen at Riverview Park and outdoor television screens at the Boardwalk.

For more information on this event, visit www.powerboatnationals.com. Check out Facebook Powerboat Nationals Gran Prix of Louisiana and Instagram Powerboat Nationals SBC. To see more sports events in the Caddo and Bossier Parish areas, visit shreveportbossiersports.org or sbfunguide.com.

Kelly Wells

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