This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Michele Newberry about Johnson College’s designer purse lottery, which benefits the college’s annual fund.

Residence: Dickson City

Educational/professional background: Earned a bachelor’s degree from Wagner College; former director of Lackawanna College’s Annual Fund and alumni relations and former community relations coordinator for Lackawanna County government

Title: Director of development at Johnson College

Q: How does the designer purse lottery work?

A: Tickets are now available for this February fundraiser presented by ShopRite. Only 500 $25 tickets will be sold. Each ticket lists two three-digit numbers. Throughout February, if one of the numbers on a ticket comes in during the evening Pennsylvania Pick 3 lottery, that ticket’s owner will win the designer purse of the day. The numbers on the tickets are valid throughout February, so participants can possibly win more than once. Purses being raffled off include Coach, Fossil, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Tori Burch. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the designer purse of the night, sponsored by ShopRite, will be a Louis Vuitton Never Full Classic Bag worth $1,500. To view the purses, please visit

Q: Who is the lottery open to?

A: Anyone can purchase one or more of the 500 $25 tickets available.

Q: How will proceeds be used?

A: All money raised will benefit the Johnson College Annual Fund. The Annual Fund assists Johnson College in producing the best technicians and technologists for the future essential workforce.

Q: Why is community support so important to your cause?

A: By participating, everyone within our community has an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Johnson College’s hard-working students. During the pandemic, our students worked and learned first-hand just how essential they are to the workforce. They kept the economy moving forward in NEPA by fixing, building and healing our communities. Our students kept all of us going when our lives changed and we had to stay at home. Now it is our turn to give back to them.