Designer Bag Bingo Raises $80K for Junior Achievement

GIRARD, Ohio – Two recent Junior Achievement of Eastern Ohio fundraising events raised more than $80,000 to help assist students in the Mahoning Valley.

The Designer Bag Bingo events took place Nov. 11 at the Andrus Banquet Center in Ashtabula and Dec. 2 at the Metroplex Expo Center in Liberty.

“We could not have done it without those who attended, as well as the wonderful support from our local communities and businesses,” said Michele Merkel, Junior Achievement of Eastern Ohio president. “Between the two events, we had almost 80 gift baskets and bundles for our chance auctions, 25 designer handbags, numerous giveaways, 50/50 raffles and grand prizes valued at more than $1,000 each.”

The funds raised will go toward financial literacy, entrepreneurship and career-readiness programming for K-12 students in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Ashtabula counties.

“The support from our sponsors and the dedication of our team is what makes this annual event such a success,” Merkel said.

Sponsors for the events included DJL Accounting and Consulting Group Inc., Molded Fiber Glass Companies, Professional Generator Systems, 7 17 Credit Union, Penn Care Inc., L’uva Bella Winery, Reliable Consulting, Associated School Employees Credit Union, Key Bank, Middlefield Bank, Eastern Gateway Community College, Vallourec Star, Valley Economic Development Partners, Clark Dietrich, Chris Brecht State Farm Insurance, Infinity Resources, Geneva Family Dental and Paine Funeral Home.

“Junior Achievement is filling a great need for our local students, shaping thousands of futures every year,” said Melissa Maki, Junior Achievement of Eastern Ohio board chair. “When I was in 5th grade, we had a JA volunteer come in and teach us a lesson about manufacturing, which included marketing. That small act of volunteering ended up shaping my career path. It’s pretty powerful stuff and a big reason I volunteer for JA now. Events like Designer Bag Bingo help JA provide valuable and inspirational experiences to young people. You never know what one small interaction with a student could have on their day, week, year or lifetime.”

Pictured at top: Auctioneer Dave Bucci conducted the events at the Metroplex Expo Center (above) and at the Andrus Banquet Center.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.