(WATERTOWN, NY) – The Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation Inc. has announced its annual Posh Purse Palooza has been deemed a success, raising a record $13,000.

Dozens gathered at Garland City Beer Works in Watertown on May 11, for the return of the Posh Purse Palooza. The silent auction fundraiser for the Volunteer Transportation Center raised a record $13,000.

The nonprofit organization’s event – held May 9 at Garland City Beer Works, Watertown – raised money for the Volunteer Transportation Center to support the services it provides to the community.

“When we held this event last year, it was a record year, raising $11,000,” said Jeremiah S. Papineau, the nonprofit organization’s Director of Communications and Foundation Director. “However, this year, we broke the record again. We’re ecstatic.”

“It couldn’t have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors, donors and those who won purses at this year’s Posh Purse Palooza,” he added. “We’re extremely thankful because every dollar we raise helps people here in need of crucial transportation.”

Posh Purse Palooza, which started in 2015, has been held annually, with the exception of 2020, when the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Papineau attributes the popularity of the event to the high quality donations of purses and items that are auctioned with each purse, giving bidders amazing value for their bids.

“What continues to make this event a success,” he said, “is how we’ve paired the in-person auction with the convenience of bidding online. It’s something we began to offer in 2021 when we first brought back this event and it ended up being convenient for those who simply wanted to bid from the comfort of their own home. It really helps us reach even more people.”

This Coach purse, filled with items from F.X. Caprara Harley Davidson and paired with items donated by other local businesses, was among the items up for bids at this year’s Posh Purse Palooza silent auction at Garland City Beer Works.

The online auction component initially consisted of 10 purses available for bids prior to the in-person auction. An additional 15 purses were up for bids the night of the event at Garland City Beer Works and, at that point, all 25 were able to be bid on until the end of the evening. Additional purses were also raffled at the event.

In addition, Garland City Beer Works again offered a signature drink this year in the month leading up to the event, with proceeds from every cocktail going directly to the VTC Foundation. That effort raised $188.

“We’re always so thankful for the amazing folks at Garland City Beer Works,” said Mr. Papineau. “Each year, they offer this up for our fundraiser and it’s a hit. We can’t thank them enough.”

Posh Purse Palooza, which marked its ninth year, is a silent auction event that features new or gently-used purses filled with various items like gift certificates, jewelry, bottles of wine, scarves, cosmetics and more. Purses are donated by generous people in the community – either filled with items or without and then stuffed with donations from businesses and other individuals in the community.

This Kate Spade purse, donated by Blaine Campany of Croghan Meat Market, was paired with items donated by other local businesses, all to benefit the Volunteer Transportation Center.

Designers this year included Calvin Klein, Coach, Guess, Kate Spade, Lafayette 148 New York, Lauren Conrad, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Bradley and others. When donations of purses are received, each is assigned a value along with a value of the contents inside. Guests at the event are then able to place bids in the silent auction of the purses while mingling and enjoying food and drink from Garland City Beer Works.

This year’s Posh Purse Palooza was made possible by: Underwriters – Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Watertown Savings Bank, Stewart’s Shops, and Advanced Business Systems. Diamond Level Sponsor – Carthage Area Hospital; Platinum Level Sponsors – AmeriCU Credit Union, Knowlton Technologies, Overhead Door Company of Watertown, and Samaritan Medical Center; Gold Level Sponsors – Cam’s Pizzeria, CEM Machine, Croghan Meat Market, Northern Credit Union, Waite Toyota and Ms. Rosina Vandewall; and Silver Level Sponsors – Carthage Savings and Loan, Empire Clearance, Independent Commercial Contractors, Northern Lights Chiropractic, and Weldon & Trimper Law Firm. Additional support was provided by United Way of Northern New York and Northern New York Community Foundation.

Purses and items for the purses were donated by the following: 1000 Islands Cruet, Antique Boat Museum, Arsenal Wine & Liquor, Avon Shoes and Orthopedic Center, Bella Brooke Vineyards, Bella’s, Black Tie Cocktail Syrups, Body Slender Laser Center, Bradley’s Surplus, Clayton Distillery, Clayton Wine & Spirits, Comfort Inn and Suites in Watertown, Coyote Moon Vineyards, Eagle Beverage Company, Edible Arrangements, F.X. Caprara Harley Davidson, Fairfield Inn & Suites Watertown Thousand Islands, Five Corners Greenhouse, Garland City Beer Works, Griff’s Beverage, Harmony Soap Cottage, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Hopenhagen Farm, Independent Mary Kay Consultant Kerrie Baker, Independent Medical Evaluation Company (IMEC), Jefferson County Historical Society, JRECK Subs, Kay Jewelers, Lafayette 148 New York, MACS Hair Extrodinaire, Magical Vacation Planner by Tina Lanier, Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST), NNY Aging Insurance Services, Northern Flow Vineyards, O.D. Greene Lumber & Hardware, Red Robin, River Golf Adventures, River Yoga, Silver Bench Jewelry, State Street Ace Hardware, Stefano’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, Sterling Roots, Strut Boutique, Sunny & Soapy, Sweet on Chocolate, Tammy’s Salon, The Bottle of Sackets Harbor, The Cape Winery, The Church Street Diner, The Clipper Inn, The Dockside Pub, The Evergreen Day Spa, Thousand Islands Winery, Tinsle Beauty, Tug Hill Artisan Roasters, Tug Hill Estate, Tug Hill Vineyards, Tunes 92.5/Intrepid Broadcasting, Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours, Volunteer Transportation Center Finance Department, Watertown Daily Times/NNY360, Watertown International Airport, Wicked Wench Saloon, Willowbrook Golf Course, Donna Barnhart, Deana Burns, Blaine Campany, Michelle Carpenter, Erin Cordova, Jennifer Cross, Meagan Daymont, Barb DeYear, Pat Fralick, Jeanne Fuller, Michele Glover, Diane Meda, Darcy Peterson, Dawn Lelakowski, Taylour Leone, Nadine Logan, Amy McEathron, Kathy Taber-Montgomery, Kathryn Murray, Jeremiah S. Papineau, Sam Purington, Trisha Seymour, Lizz Smith and Caree Turck.

The VTC Foundation would like to thank WWNY’s Makenzie Piatt for emceeing the event and serving as the event’s chair. In addition, the organization thanks Garland City Beer Works for hosting and the Posh Purse Palooza Committee, consisting of Blaine Campany, Michelle Carpenter, Jeany Colello, Alice Fisher, Laurie Gleason, Taylour Leone, Amy McEathron, Joelle Meade, Kathy Taber-Montgomery, Kathryn Murray, Lorna Oppedisano, Ruth Soules, Mr. Papineau and Ms. Piatt.

The date for next year’s Posh Purse Palooza is already set for Thursday, May 8, again before Mother’s Day. Donations are already being collected for the event.

For more information, contact Mr. Papineau at 315-303-2590, or via email at jeremiah@volunteertransportation.org.


The Volunteer Transportation Center, Inc. (VTC), established in 1991, drives thousands of miles each year assisting community members in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties and beyond. Over the last 30 years, this essential non-profit organization has provided rides to health care appointments, food sources and other critical needs destinations for residents.

In 2023, volunteer drivers provided 25,314 charitable trips over 855,471 miles in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. Of those miles, 329,819 helped those in Jefferson County, 101,766 in Lewis County, and 423,886 in St. Lawrence County. That equated to approximately $427,736 in mileage reimbursement for our volunteers. That’s why the community’s help is so important.

The staff, boards of directors and volunteer drivers look forward to a time when transportation to community activities and services is accessible to all North Country residents regardless of economic or specialized needs. But for now the mission drives on — striving to provide transportation to health, wellness and critical needs destinations utilizing volunteers and mobility management for anyone who has barriers to transportation.

For more information about how you can help the Volunteer Transportation Center, about its upcoming events, or to become a volunteer driver, contact the agency in Jefferson and Lewis Counties at 315-788-0422, in St. Lawrence County at 315-714-2034, or Western New York at 585-250-5030. Volunteers drive their own cars, set their own hours and receive mileage reimbursement but, more importantly, make a difference in the community. To learn more, visit www.volunteertransportationcenter.org.