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‘Start me out at $50’

Purse auction draws more than 125; funds support YWCA

Shorty Arnzen of Cottonwood was the expert spotter at the YWCA’s Second Annual Purse Auction at the Cottonwood Community Hall Saturday, March 5. Arnzen’s nephew, Shane, served as auctioneer while his wife, Marge, was clerk.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
Shorty Arnzen of Cottonwood was the expert spotter at the YWCA’s Second Annual Purse Auction at the Cottonwood Community Hall Saturday, March 5. Arnzen’s nephew, Shane, served as auctioneer while his wife, Marge, was clerk.



— “Start me out at $50 and give me a job,” Shane Arnzen rattled off at the Cottonwood Community Hall Saturday, March 5.

More than 125 people came out to support the Second Annual Purse Auction, an event held to support the local YWCA offices and their endeavor to assist victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Auctioneer Arnzen, the nephew of Shorty and Marge Arnzen of Cottonwood, came over from Oregon to volunteer for the event for the second year in a row.

“This is a very important cause and I am glad to help out. And I have the best clerk and spotter right here,” he pointed to his aunt and uncle.

This year’s and last year’s auctions each raised about $10,000 that went toward helping local victims, said advocate Kristy Beckstead of the Grangeville YWCA office.

“It went for food, lodging, pet care and so much more for the people in our community who needed the help,” she said, adding that more than 25 victims were given some sort of aid.

Two years ago, that help went to Tori B., who briefly spoke at the event.

“I was in an abusive marriage for 24 years,” she cried. “It was because of help from Kristy and the Y that I finally got out.”

Tori explained how she cried from “gladness and gratefulness, not because I’m sad.”

“I took a lot of things for granted but I have been humbled,” she added. “I am forever grateful for the big things and the little things – a hug, a blanket, a new tube of lipstick. You never know what the seemingly small things might mean to someone who has lost it all. I thank you for being here.”

The event was spearheaded by Debbie Schnider who owns The Hangout restaurant along with her husband, Ron. The business provided a potato and chef salad bar with all proceeds going to the local YWCA.

More than 115 purses full of a variety of items including gift certificates, wine, appliances and baby items, were auctioned off while that many empty purses were for sale.

For questions on YWCA services contact Beckstead at the Grangeville office, 221 W. Main Street, 743-1535, www.ywcaidaho.org.



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