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April 12, 2005 - Purses with a Purpose Support Dani's Foundation

What: Beijo Bags Spring/Summer collection preview

Where: JW Marriott Denver at Cherry Creek

When: April 12, 2005

Ticket Prices: $10

Beneficiary: Dani's Foundation

Executive Director: Michelle Ashby

Attire: Shopping Chic


Board of Directors: Michele Ashby, Tui Kenny, Abbie Kozik, Paige Hamilton, Gysela FIllingham, Heather Hill

Blacktie Photos by: Janet Woods

 Dani's Foundation founder Michele Ashby with Beijo Bags creator Susan Handley.
Dani's Foundation founder Michele Ashby with Beijo Bags creator Susan Handley.

Janet Woods

It’s no question that any woman who appreciates fashion has a handbag collection that rivals that of her closest friends. When friends come together to shop for handbags, it can be a whirlwind experience and when they get together and shop for bags that support a local charity, there are few things that can be more emphatic. The JW Marriott hosted an ultimate purse-shopping extravaganza that featured bags from a company called Beijo and supported Dani’s Foundation, both founded by women with a powerful purpose. Michele Ashby’s daughter Dani Stell was a 19 year-old girl who loved fashion and dreamed one day of being a designer. Instead of being a designer, Dani has become an inspiration for kids that suffer from Ewings Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Dani, who fought the disease with courage humor and energy, passed away in 1999, and Michele formed the foundation that bears her daughter’s name to help find a cure for the disease. The foundation helps fight children’s cancer with both traditional and alternative treatments and raises money for research efforts. Susan Handley, a single mom struggling to make ends meet, decided to take control of her situation and in turn, changed the lives of working women everywhere. She founded Beijo Bags (Beijo means “kiss” in Portuguese). The company allows women to be the boss and own their own companies that distribute the bags she created. Held under a white outdoor tent at the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek North, the Beijo Bags “Color of Inspiration” spring tour was an evening of bags and beauty as local designers joined in to show their newest creations while modeling the purses for the full house. The event came together out of friendship and a love of purses. Ashby, with friend and Beijo Bag distributor Donna Connally decided to take their purse parties one step further and get Denver women involved by shopping for purses with a purpose. “Thanks for shopping and buying purses,” Michele Ashby told the crowd, “this is something my daughter would have loved to do.” Beijo Bag founder Susan Handley was at the event to kick off the new spring line. With sleek lines and understated yet unforgettable colors and shapes, the classic and user-friendly designs, offer a different flavor for women to add to their personal fashion recipe. Proceeds from the event benefited the Children’s Hospital Teen Cancer Clinic and other research projects for pediatric cancers.

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