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AWEE honors Elisabeth Ruffner at Baubles, Bags & Bling luncheon Thursday: Event raises money to help women enter the workforce

Courtesy photo<br>The “Runway of Bags” features 100 bags that guests will win in either a silent auction or a raffle that will be highlights of the AWEE Baubles, Bags & Bling luncheon on Thursday.

Courtesy photo<br>The “Runway of Bags” features 100 bags that guests will win in either a silent auction or a raffle that will be highlights of the AWEE Baubles, Bags & Bling luncheon on Thursday.

Tickets are still available to the third annual Arizona Women's Education and Employment Inc. Baubles, Bags & Bling luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Prescott Resort.

The fundraiser supports AWEE's programs that for 30 years have created successful beginnings for more than 115,000 women, men and young adults as they move into the workforce, offering training in employment skills, resume writing, computers, and support services throughout Maricopa and Yavapai counties.

The luncheon begins at 11 a.m. and runs through 1:30 p.m. at the Prescott Resort, at Heather Heights at Highway 69. Tickets cost $40 and are available by calling AWEE at 778-3010.

At the luncheon, Elisabeth Ruffner will receive the 2012 Barbara Jean Polk Spirit of Volunteerism Award for her work as a businesswoman, writer, public speaker and historian who has been involved in founding a number of community endeavors, including the Prescott Community Hospital Association, the Friends of the Prescott Public Library, the Prescott Area Arts Council and the Elks Opera House Foundation.

The luncheon will feature a silent auction, door prizes, and handbags filled with merchandise and certificates from donors and the business community.

"The theme this year is a Season for All, and each bag is filled with items donated by friends of AWEE and local businesses around a theme for each month of the year," said Sara Murray, owner of Fancy That! in Prescott. "Last year, AWEE's Baubles, Bags & Bling raised $33,000."

Earlier this year, community members donated new, vintage, and gently used handbags during AWEE's annual handbag drive to restock the nonprofit group's free clothing closet that helps outfit women with appropriate attire for interviews and their first week in their new careers.

Several of those handbags were transformed into creative centerpieces and silent-auction items for the luncheon.

For more information about AWEE in Yavapai County, go to www.awee.org.

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