Event promotes, connects local women

Friday’s Women’s Extravaganza to feature vendors, door prizes

The Women’s Extravaganza has featured over 50 vendors in each of its first two years. This year’s event takes place Friday at Vannelli’s by the Lake. (Photo submitted)

Clint Riese
Staff Writer

A third-year event that connects and empowers women while supporting local causes is set for this Friday, May 4 in Forest Lake.

The 2012 Women’s Extravaganza will run from 6-10 p.m. at Vannelli’s by the Lake.

Forest Lake residents Terrie Clark and Melissa Hursch brought the event to life in 2010 after seeing similar functions emerge in surrounding communities.

“Just in observing the growth in Forest Lake, I thought it was time that Forest Lake had an event for and about women,” Clark said. “We’re the biggest consumers in the country and I really thought the community was ready for an event like this.”

Her hunch proved to be correct, as over 50 vendors have turned out in each of the first two years. The businesses vary greatly but all are either owned by women or their products and services are geared primarily towards them. For example, Clark said attendees can plan a girls’ weekend with a travel agent and join a health club all in one night and over a glass of wine.

Admission is $5 and includes food and a door prize ticket. There were 55 door prizes given away last year, most valued at $100 or more.

Proceeds go to a variety of good causes. The 2011 Women’s Extravaganza raised $950 for the FLAAA Sports Center and nearly $500 for the local Ministering Hands for Women group.

This year, funds will also pay for an event to be held at the Sports Center which will educate moms about proper nutrition for kids in athletics.

Clark said Forest Lake has a large number of businesses designed for and run by women, but there is a need for continued promotion.

“I’m just amazed that there are girls and women these days who don’t understand that they can do anything,” Clark said.