By Mary-Justine Lanyon
The prime responsibility of the Arrowhead Arts Association, President Ken Camarella said, “is to bring music to the children of the community.
“Help us,” he asked the attendees at the Arrowhead Arts Association Auxiliary’s purse auction on Sept. 13, “to perpetuate and increase what we do for the children on the mountain. It makes them smarter, more disciplined. What you’re doing by helping us is essential for the education of our youngsters.”
As guests arrived at the Lake Arrowhead Country Club for the auction, they were immediately greeted by tables full of purses of all sizes, from small clutches to large totes.
In addition to the purses that were sold in a live auction, there were also purses in the silent auction. And there was a variety of jewelry available for sale.
Chryl Russell, who has long been active with Arrowhead Arts’ education program in the Rim schools, noted that “without Arrowhead Arts, our kids would never have been exposed to this music.”
She introduced Ara Tokatlian, a 2023 graduate of Rim High, who entertained the guests on both the keyboard, while singing, and on the saxophone. After taking a gap year – during which he will further his musical studies – Ara plans to attend Riverside City College because of their excellent jazz program.
Leah Weis, chair of the auction, told the guests the Auxiliary had started collecting purses last February. They were all examined and cleaned. She introduced the members of her committee: Barbara Carbajal, Terri Clark, Andrea Hilton, Hortensia Jurado, Laura Sharp, Linda Tyer and Jeannie Venturini.
The live auction then began with Geoff Hopper, described as an “auctioneer extraordinaire,” calling for ever-higher bids. The 44 purses in the live auction ranged in value from $22 to $400. Some went for the stated value while others garnered far more from the excited bidders.
Before he began auctioning off the first purse, Hopper shared some purse trivia with the full house.
The money raised – estimated at $5,000 – will help with the variety of musical programs offered to Rim students by Arrowhead Arts, including Introduction to the Orchestra and the strings program.