Luncheon raises $101,000 for Olive Crest to fight child abuse in Inland Empire

More than 320 people attended a Pick-a-Purse Luncheon to raise money for Olive Crest, an organization that works to prevent child abuse.

The event, held recently at the Burrage Mansion in Redlands, had the theme of “Bloomin’ at the Burrage” and raised $101,000 for the organization. Near the end of the luncheon, guests were called up to choose a designer purse.

“The word ‘bloom’ represents spring, where flowers and vegetation emerge and bloom after the dark days of winter,“ said Tracy Fitzsimmons, executive director of Olive Crest Inland & Desert Communities, said in a news release. “In the same way, our kiddos and families are continuing to emerge, bloom, and thrive under the care and support of their Olive Crest family.”

From left, Kristen Holstrom-Fiebiger, Ryleigh Fiebiger, Xinia Williams and Samantha McBride are seen at the Pick-a-Purse Luncheon fundraiser in Redlands for Olive Crest. They represented Custody Queens, an event sponsor. (Courtesy of Michael J. Elderman Photography)

Nancy Devries, a longtime Olive Crest supporter, left, is seen with Carol Rochford at the Pick-a-Purse Luncheon fundraiser in Redlands for Olive Crest. (Courtesy of Michael J. Elderman Photography)

From left, Rachel Bing, event chair and Olive Crest board member; Angie Grace Ashford, an Olive Crest alum who performed at the Pick-a-Purse Luncheon fundraiser; and Tracy Fitzsimmons, executive director of Olive Crest, Inland & Desert Communities. (Courtesy of Michael J. Elderman Photography)

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Guests learned about Olive Crest programs for abused and at-risk children and their families, took part in opportunity drawings and listened to a performance by Olive Crest alum Angie Grace Ashford, who auditioned this season for “American Idol,” the release states.

She graduated from Olive Crest’s Foster Care Program and was adopted by the Ashford family, which has six adopted children.

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“It was truly a blessing that God brought me to this wonderful family and that I have found my forever home,” Angie Grace Ashford said in the release.

Upcoming Olive Crest fundraisers include A Night In Tuscany, set for Sept. 8; Olive Crest’s Golf Invitational on Feb. 6, 2023; and Pick-a-Purse on May 7, 2023.

Information: 1-800-550-child (2445) or