In The Bag Auction | Event
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The Event

 Silent Auction of Designer Handbags and Luncheon

Since its first small gathering almost 7 years ago, the IN THE BAG charity luncheon has netted over $350,000 in critical relief funds that have allowed The American Red Cross of the National Capital region to help needy families following disasters. This is an amazing testament to the generosity of our community and it is also a powerful statement about the concern and commitment of all of the women who work year after year to make this event one that can, quite literally, move ladies to open their purses for the good of others.

We’re excited to announce our Special Guests
Fox 5 News Anchor Laura Evans
43rd U.S. Army Surgeon General & Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command General Patricia Horoho
Mrs. DC America 2016 Kinosha Soden


LAURA EVANS, Anchor/Fox 5 News at 5

As an anchor at Fox 5 News at 5, Laura Evans informs and inspires as she delivers the news. She also produces and presents her popular Laura’s Likes segment weekly, spotlighting the latest and greatest in unique products and inspirational entrepreneurial stories. Laura is the recipient of multiple Emmys, Associated Press Awards, Golden Mics, and a Radio and Television News Directors Association award for Best News Series. Washingtonian Magazine named Laura as one of the rising stars to watch in local television news.


Laura is passionate about her involvement with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, having served as Honorary Chair for The Light the Night Walks and as emcee for the Leukemia Ball and Man and Woman of the Year Awards. Laura leads the annual DC Newswomen’s Bash against Breast Cancer and, along with her husband Mike, is also very devoted to the Make a Wish Foundation.


Laura’s top priorities are the three little ones at home who keep her extremely busy: daughters, Sienna and Andrea, and her son, Lucas.


PATRICIA HOROHO, Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General

Patricia Horoho is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General and was the 43rd U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command. She was the first female and first Nurse Corps Officer to hold those appointments.


In 1994, Horoho was the head nurse of the emergency room at Womack Army Medical Center. She treated the wounded in the aftermath of the Green Ramp disaster. She was recognized as a Nurse Hero by the American Red Cross on September 14, 2002, for her actions during the September 11 attacks for giving first-aid to 75 victims. Among her many military awards are the Distinguished Service Medal, the Order of Military Medical Merit medallion, Legion of Merit (2 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (6 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), and the Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC). She was also recognized as a Legacy Laureate by the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. Horoho retired from the Army on February 1, 2016.


KINOSHA MICHELL SODEN, Mrs. District of Columbia America 2016

Kinosha Michell Soden, Mrs. District of Columbia America 2016, graduated from the University of Missouri, Saint Louis, MO, with two degrees in Biology and Business along with a minor in biochemistry. She attended graduate school at Washington University of Saint Louis, MO, with focus on biomedical analytics. During her undergrad and graduate years, Kinosha was an NFL cheerleader for the St. Louis RAMS and was later appointed to the city’s education council board in 2007 as a STEM curriculum developer and consultant. As Mrs. District of Columbia America 2016 she promotes her platform: “GEMS — Girls Excelling in Math & Science” through which she encourages school-aged girls to pursue STEM-based degrees and careers.


Kinosha is a medical aesthetician and the creator of Soderma Beauty, a cosmetic branch of her practice, Soderma Dermatology. She is also mom of two and enjoys theater and sporting events with her family.


LINDA MATHES, CEO American Red Cross of the National Capital Region

Linda Mathes is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region. Ms. Mathes is charged with responsibility to carry out the mission of the American Red Cross throughout this regional community and to support other communities across the country and around the world.


Ms. Mathes began her career with the Red Cross in 1973 at the Dallas County Chapter/Northeast Texas Division. She served in several leadership positions at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross in Washington, DC from 1978-1986; Executive Director of the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Red Cross Chapter in Pennsylvania from 1986-1991; and was appointed CEO of the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area in 1991.



Brenda Blisk is President, and owner of Blisk Financial Group. Brenda’s built a solid record of accomplishments and a reputation for excellence among the Blisk Financial Group clients and colleagues. Brenda is actively involved in her church and community serving in a variety of leadership roles with The Capital Speakers Club of Washington, D.C., Women in Technology, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and a Tiffany Circle member of the American Red Cross.


In 2010, she founded and is the chairwoman of the now infamous “IN THE BAG” luncheon and silent auction of ladies handbags where all the proceeds go to benefit the work of the local American Red Cross. Over the past years, this event netted over $350,000 for the Red Cross. Brenda and her husband live in Tysons Corner and relishes time with family and friends.



The IN THE BAG Luncheon and Silent Auction event is planned and staffed by a steering committee of local women leaders. These women volunteer their expertise to find sponsors, develop marketing, engage in traditional and online PR, and search out phenomenal bags from gracious donors. In planning for this November’s IN THE BAG charity luncheon, the Steering Committee wanted to find ways to make this year truly spectacular. The committee is working to make it not only a wonderful way to spend an afternoon but also a day of giving that surpasses the donations of all other years.


Check back often…more details to come!