Ladies Night Out brings endless boutique bargains

Brea Joyner

The 2nd Annual Ladies Night Out had the women of Monroe feeling right. Local news station KTVE teamed up with the Cancer Foundation League to give ladies the opportunity to shop for a cause last Thursday evening, September 15th.

Tanya Graves, KTVE accountant executive and events coordinator, stood near the runway stage to make sure everything ran as smoothly as possible. This year reminded her that this was a chance to revive a tradition that seemed to fade away.

It was time to do it bigger. Better.

Years ago, LNO was held at The Atrium hotel, which is now tore down. However, the destruction did not get rid of a distant memory.

“I remember going and having so much fun, and I thought [that] we need to do more community things where we get out and have fun,” Graves said.

Last year, LNO’s first revival, KTVE struggled with overcrowding at the West Monroe Convention Center.

People parked further down, walking to the convention center, and backed up the building so much they had to take turns going in and out of the event.

This year, 125 boutiques and merchants filled the Monroe Civic Center arena bringing in over 2000 registered shoppers.

This year’s venue brought three times the amount of last year.

As a shopper entered the perimeter of the arena, the aroma switched from spiced red beans and rice to pumpkin spice with a hint of honey cinnamon.

Inside the arena, vendors showed off their personal trends for this fall that seemed to be tan fringe and distressed jeans.

According to KTVE general manager Randy Stone, shoppers and even business owners will not experience such a convenient shopping experience like this for another year.

“You can’t find a better variety in one place in three hours all year,” Stone said.

Small business owners were given a broader range of exposure to potential customers and shoppers received exposure to fresh styles and reasonable prices.

To top off the evening, different boutiques were able to display their trend setters for the fall season on the runway. In the midst of runway exchanges, raffles were given to present shoppers.

Ladies were not the only ones getting a bang for their boutique, the Cancer Foundation League saw this as an opportunity to save lives.

The CFL is a local volunteer-based organization who donates all raised monies to local cancer patients. It is also affiliated with the Louisiana Cancer Institute.

To raise money for their foundation, they pre-sold tickets for $8 and at the door for $10.

CFL Vice President Alise Oliver says that even though the workers do not receive a salary, the effect they could have in the community is priceless.

“We’re fortunate enough to have a contact to KTVE that offered us the opportunity to sell the tickets. So we’re getting half of the proceeds,” Oliver said.

CFL promotes screenings throughout the year, and their upcoming testing is for the prostate. Screenings will be given at the Cancer Institute on Calypso Street, September 24th.