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Girls Night Out fundraiser Saturday at Culture Center

By Clint Thomas, Metro Reporter

Declared and designed as a party with a purpose, Girls Night Out 2017 will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History Culture Center.

Now in its 19th year, Girls Night Out is a yearly, ladies-only fundraiser to benefit the YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program. The program offers around-the-clock shelter accommodations at its Hope House, a 24-hour crisis hotline and emergency intervention for domestic violence victims in Kanawha, Putnam, Clay, Boone and Logan counties. Other services the YWCA Resolve program provides include: case management, court advocacy, counseling, support groups, safety planning, monitored parent-child visitation/exchanges, parenting sessions and programs for children, teen dating safety and batterers intervention/prevention.

According to the GNO website, in 2016, YWCA Resolve served nearly 2,500 individuals, provided almost 4,800 shelter nights to 173 victims and their children and supplied nearly 6,000 hours of case management, advocacy, counseling and support group sessions.

Tickets for Saturday’s gala are $150 each. They can be ordered online through Thursday evening or purchased at the door on Saturday.

The suggested attire is “Boho Chic,” a style that embraces flowing clothing, vintage and multicultural accessories and natural-looking hair and makeup.

YWCA Communications and Development Director Kate Flack explained that “Boho Chic” is “a fashion that kind of stems from roots in the ‘70s, the Woodstock time. It’s a very fun, festival vibe. It’s basically loose clothing with a variety of fabrics -- lace, crochets, pompons, tassels. Fun patterns are definitely encouraged. What’s nice about this fashion, you can dress it up, but do very casual wear -- flats with natural shades -- and you can also do bright colors and wedge sandals. Lighter, gauzy fabrics breathe really well in the summer season; it’s really nice for an evening event.”

A silent auction will be held during the evening.

“Generally, we have around 100 different packages,” Flack said. “The auction is going to be inside the Great Hall of the Culture Center. Food, drinks and entertainment will be taking place outside on the plaza deck. The whole inside will be the auction. You can basically shop at a little boutique. There’ll be a variety of different price points, so there’s definitely something for everyone there.”

Items for bid will include packages from area photographers and spas, creations by jewelry designers, vacation getaways and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert tickets, among many others.

DJ Nick Scott from Electric 102 radio, accompanied by colleague DJ Frankie Frank, will entertain GNO-goers with music during the event.

“Before that, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Mix 100.9 will be doing a remote broadcast with Dave Allen. It’s kind of a red carpet event, live as people arrive,” Flack said. “He’ll be playing ‘70s-style music and greeting guests with live interviews.

“On the main stage, Ryan Kennedy is going to be playing folk music,” she said, “and a St. Albans dance troupe will be dancing on the plaza deck for the first hour.”

Flack said that more than 1,000 tickets have already been purchased for Girls Night Out 2017. “We anticipate selling between 1,200 and 1,400 tickets.”

She also emphasized the underlying importance of Saturday’s fun-filled festivities. “Our program against domestic violence is the beneficiary. It serves nearly 2,500 women and children per year. ... It’s really sad to me that we still have to offer these services in this day and age. Unfortunately, there are still many relationships dealing with abuse in our communities. ... A lot of the funding goes to keep the lights on at Hope House, toward the electricity, heating, air-conditioning and using the money for staffing of our hotline.

“The funding from Girls Night Out is extremely crucial. People can feel good about coming and donating to this event, helping people who are in very, very tough situations and who are trying to get out. Yes, it’s a fun party, but we do this because we see how much need there is and to make sure those needs are met,” Flack said.

To order tickets or obtain additional information about Saturday’s Girls Night Out 2017, visit or call 304-932-6480.

The Culture Center is located at 1900 Kanawha Blvd., E., in Charleston.

Girls Night Out originated in 1998, created by a group of volunteer women who wanted to help the YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program in its efforts to eliminate domestic violence. Since then, more than $1 million has been raised for the cause.

To reach the YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program’s emergency shelter or 24-Hour Crisis Line, call 304-340-3549 or, toll-free, 1-800-681-8663.


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