By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJuly 29, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Hundreds of women from across the Wiregrass flocked to Fort Rucker for one its most popular events that catered specifically to them.
The Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and recreation held its Girls Night Out for the second time this year at The Landing July 22 where ladies from all over had the chance to shop, dance and win dozens of prizes throughout the night, said Aida Stallings, DFMWR community recreation division business manager.
"This is a fun event where people get to get out with their girlfriends, get pampered and leave with some really nice things," Stallings said. "We always provide great giveaways with great music and dancing, and everyone has a good time."
Throughout the night, ladies were able to browse booths from different organizations, including local shops, spas, vacation destinations, cosmetics, jewelry and even medical specialists that cater specifically to women. They were also treated to giveaways that included a grand door prize of a Michael Kors bag.
For Rakita Harding, civilian, it was a great way for her and her friends to get out of the house and enjoy some time together.
"Friday nights are usually our girl's nights anyway, so we decided to come out here for the first time and check it out," she said. "We'd always heard about it before but never came, but we're glad we did because it's actually a really good time. I didn't know there was so much here for us to be able to look at.
"If I had known that I could have a chance to win a Michael Kors bag, I would have been here every time and I'm sure I'll be coming to many more of these," said Harding. "It really has been a good time and I'm glad we made it out here."
Although the night is meant as a way for women in the area to let loose and have a good time, it's also a way for local businesses to get their names out and provide their services to a broader audience, and that's exactly what one vendor said she was able to achieve.
Sara Seymour, Queen Mary Tea consultant, has normally attended the event as a patron, but this year was able to attend as a vendor, providing people information on her products, and bringing her products to Girls Night Out was something she considered a "smart business venture."
"There is always a multitude of people at the event who are looking to buy and learn about new products, so it seemed like a no-brainer way to expand my home business," she said. "I think it's beneficial to local businesses because it is a sure way to attract new customers, re-establish old customers and just get their name out there in general. Nothing beats a good advertising event."
Seymour said she was able to reach out to at least 100 new customers at the event, giving her the opportunity to expand her small business.
"(This event) was a perfect way to expand my customer base," she said. "Whereas before I had around 20 customers, I now have more than 50. It can only grow from there now, thanks to the outreach of Girls Night Out."