Bag a bargain: Organizer Kathryn Vennard has been collecting purses and shoes for the annual swap on May 9.

Shoe swap benefits local charities

To some women, it’s about the shoes. To Kathryn Vennard, She Shoe Swap – For Charity on May 9 is a fitting way to celebrate

To some women, it’s about the shoes.

To Kathryn Vennard, She Shoe Swap – For Charity on May 9 is a fitting way to celebrate her late mother’s life.

“She lived her life in Salmon Arm and was always giving her time and energy for some cause or another,” says Vennard, noting Rosemarie volunteered with many helping organizations.

After her mom died in 2012, Vennard started an endowment fund at the Shuswap Community Foundation called Rosemarie’s Fund.

“It’s for good things in and around Salmon Arm in her name,” Vennard says. “She loved this place and the people who live here. We wanted to create something that would grow her fund and hopefully be a way for us all to remember her and her philosophy – do it because you care.”

Inspiration for the shoe swap came from Vennard’s own closet, where she discovered several shoes and a few purses that were in great shape, but were not going to see the light of day anytime soon.

“I cannot be the only woman who has done this – bought shoes on a whim, then looked at them and thought ‘those are the ones that pinched, you wore them once,’” she laughs. “It’s where we can’t quite seem to let go, but in this case, it’s  because it’s such a great cause and someone else is going to enjoy them.”

Women are invited to place new or gently used shoes and purses in drop boxes at RBC Royal Bank on Alexander Street and Brooke Downs Vennard law offices on Third Street NE.

Donors are eligible to win great ‘thank you’ prizes and buyers get super deals while supporting two local charities – Rosemarie’s Fund and the S.A.F.E. Society.

Prices for most shoes and bags are $10 each. Some of the more amazing items are a little more (up to $20) and there’s a Toonie Table for super sale shoppers.

“If you feel guilty for getting too good a deal, you are welcome to also put some money in the donation jar,” says Vennard. “It all goes to charity, so that will make the guilt disappear.”

The sale will be held from 9:30 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9 across from Sport Chek in the Mall at Piccadilly.

And there is an opportunity to acquire a new bag in the exciting Ooh la la Purse Raffle: a beautiful Kate Spade with tags, navy with white trim; a little black Coach for evening or casual fun; a fuschia leather Coach with the wrappers and tag still attached – the perfect spring/summer bag with enough room for sunglasses, sunscreen and more.

Tickets at $2 each, or three for $5, can be applied to a favourite purse and are available at Shuswap Clothing and Shoe.

The draw will take place at the end of the day on May. 9. Winners will be posted at

If you have a Coach bag, a Prada purse, a Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag, or some other great brand that you would like to donate, let Vennard know at 250-832-8880.

“Each year it is bigger and better and we can’t wait to see what happens in 2015,” Vennard says. “The group of amazing volunteers make this possible, along with the great businesses who host a drop box, donate a donor prize, or let us place advertising shoes and bags in their shops.”


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