Dozens of area women packed the Lake of the Woods Pavilion for a stress-free evening last Thursday.
Since 2010, the Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce has celebrated local women by providing them an opportunity to network or simply chat with their friends and be pampered by area businesses.
Raffle baskets filled to the brim with goodies from dozens of area businesses lined one wall of the pavilion. Raffle tickets were two for $5 or five for $10. According to committee chairperson Lindsey Savoie, the coveted basket of the evening was Gibson Area Health's raffle basket, which included a rolling cooler with bottles of wine.
Other favorites included JdMarie Boutique's coasters and gift card, Mahomet Family Dentistry's electric toothbrush and gift card and Twist & Shout's birthday party for 10.
"There was a ton of great ones," Savoie said.
First time event attendee Arlette Jaramillo, of Gibson City had her eyes set on winning the cooler and wine bottles raffle basket. Jaramillo found out about the event through a friend who invited her.
"The men are serving us so I think that's wonderful," Jaramillo joked of the numerous male volunteers who assisted with bartending, catering and raffles. "I'm just hanging out and I'm excited. Hopefully I'll win."
Jason Enos of Fisher National Bank of Mahomet provided emcee and DJ services for the evening. Oak Street Salon provided free makeup tips and touch ups and True Love Nails Salon pampered the ladies with $5 manicures. Tickets for the event were $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
"I think it's just a night out with friends," Angela Barden said. "Who wouldn't want to come for $15 and have dinner and pampering?"
For Barden, she enjoyed visiting with the gals and a night away from everyday stressors.
"Just the socialization with the other ladies," she said. "You don't get a lot when you're at home with the kids and the husband and the demands after 5 o'clock to come home and be the wife."
Attendees Tanya Knauff and Diana Onken found the evening a good way to network and meet others in the community. The two attended the event on the spur of the moment.
"I had a free night, she had a free night so we thought, 'What the heck?'" Onken said. "And hopefully, maybe with our combination of luck, we'll get a basket," Knauff joked.
"It's a good way to promote local business," Onken added. "Obviously, the chamber of commerce is sponsoring it, so I think it's good to learn what's in our town."
Jill Hurd and Marty Lubben also found the evening to be an excellent networking event in a relaxing atmosphere.
"I think it's very nice because then you can mingle with everybody," Lubben said. "You see different people here than you do at the other chamber events."
The chamber hopes to continue hosting Ladies Night Out again next year and aims to increase the amount of raffle baskets and pampering vendors.
"People really liked having Oak Street Salon and True Love Nails," Savoie said. "Maybe we'll have somebody do waxes or more pampering because that seems to be pretty popular."