Citing coronavirus concerns, YWCA Enid has moved its Purses with Purpose fundraiser to an all-virtual event.

The event, previously set for Aug. 4 at Stride Bank Center, raises money each year for YWCA Enid's "vital programs and services serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault," according to a press release. A portion of this year's event proceeds will be used to upgrade security features for the YWCA domestic violence shelter, "to provide the safest environment possible for our clients."

Organizers already had pushed the event back from July to August, but YWCA Enid Executive Director Carrie Sanders said going to an online-only format was the responsible decision, given the ongoing concerns over COVID-19.

"It's really sad, because this was supposed to be a special event for our 100th anniversary," Sanders said, "so we were very sad to not be able to meet in person to recognize that accomplishment."

Sanders said demand for YWCA services has gone up during the pandemic, while fundraising has gone down, and she hopes the public will support Purses with Purpose and help fund needed local programs for women.

"We really appreciate our partners and sponsors for continuing to support the programs at the YWCA, even with this going virtual," Sanders said, "because that financial support is what really makes it possible for us to help women who've suffered domestic violence and sexual assault."

Ryan Zaloudek, co-chair for the event, said in the press release the online format has the potential to open up Purses with Purpose to more participants.

"We are very excited to announce that by going virtual we will be able to reach a larger audience with our message, as well as utilize the funds from this event in a more direct way," Zaloudek said.

Bidding for the auction will be done on Bidr, and participants will be notified by text message when they have been outbid. Bidding will be open from noon Tuesday through 1 p.m. Aug 8.

Louis Vuitton raffle tickets still are available, and the drawing will happen live on Aug. 8. Tickets are available online at bit.ly/2020LVRaffleTicket. For information, contact Zaloudek at razaloudek@gmail.com.

More updates and information can be found on the YWCA Enid Facebook page.

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