Women to increase social and business opportunities at Ladies Night Out

Natalie Joseph
Contact Reporternjoseph@dailypress.com
Animal Aid Society offers many volunteer opportunities for people wanting to give back to the organization

For busy women, a night on the town sometimes comes as a rare opportunity.

Bernadette Watkins, founder of the Hampton Roads chapter of Housewives in the City, believes the joy and stress of work, motherhood and other responsibilities women face every day should not force them to eliminate their social lives.

"The idea is to get women out to have a night out of networking and getting them to have a great time," Watkins said. "Let's face it, most women who have children or are working or are too busy, it's a lot to get it together and go out. We are trying to bring something new for those women."

Last November, Watkins led the way by increasing social opportunities for women when starting a Housewives in the City chapter locally, to help women come together, socialize, relax, learn about their community and network.

Since its beginning, the Hampton Roads Housewives has touched the lives of not just housewives — or even wives in general — but women of all ages, races, religions and relationship statuses, through the monthly social events across the area.

"Housewives in the City is a conglomerate of 36 cities across the country," Watkins said. "We work together to connect with women doing Ladies Night Out events and bridge local businesses and women together. We are there to make new business connections and social connections happen. We've found a lot of success with these events."

This month, the organization hits the Hampton Roads social scene in Hampton at Bar Louie in Peninsula Town Center (3530 Von Schilling Drive) for an event dubbed "Ladies Night Out."

Watkins said the event will have extended happy hour drinks, shopping, food, networking opportunities, socializing and a presentation from the GROW Foundation, this month's featured nonprofit.

Empowering women to socialize and take time for themselves to enjoy a special night with other local ladies is just one goal for the upcoming Ladies Night Out.

Another is to enlighten women about local charities and how they can volunteer and give back to the community by empowering other women.

"Every month we try to talk about a charity that promotes different topics," Watkins said. "Last month I did United Way, and this month it's GROW, which brings awareness to domestic violence."

Attending Ladies Night Out on Monday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. is free and open to the public.

Watkins encourages women to bring friends, co-workers, mothers and more for a diverse group of women. On the event's Facebook group, there are already almost 500 people who have responded saying they plan to attend.

Many women are using the event as a way to promote their own businesses and create new clients. According to Watkins, vendors that plan to attend include Lemmata Chiropractic LLC, Sonja Magnolia and Vine, and Rachel and Dani from Rodan+Fields, among many others.

Ladies Night Out events are held every month.

The next Ladies Night Out is scheduled for Feb. 28 in Williamsburg at the Virginia Beer Co. March's event will be held in Newport News, and the date will be announced soon.

For information on the event or how to get involved with the Hampton Roads Housewives, visit housewivesinthecity.com.

Animal Aid Society

Scrolling through a social media feed isn't the only place to find humans playing with adorable animals.

In Hampton, volunteers can enjoy the cuteness in real life at the Animal Aid Society.

The no-kill shelter offers many volunteer opportunities for people wanting to give back to the organization, and fundraising chair Lisa Carter said playing with the dogs is one of the most popular ways to help.

"We have many ways to volunteer. We have what we call the 'behind the gates' volunteers, where you go in and care for the dogs," Carter said. "People can work at least two days a month. Just come by the shelter, fill out a volunteer form, and then we'll talk to them and set up an orientation and get them familiar with the shelter."

The shelter has been around since 1971 and receives no government funding, making fundraising efforts, donors and volunteers that much more important to sustaining the shelter, according to Carter.

Last year, 170 dogs were taken in by the Animal Aid Society, which holds up to 41 at a time. According to Carter, it usually houses about 35 dogs at one time, while others live with volunteers for health reasons.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 11 through 13, the Animal Aid Society is holding a fundraiser at Farm Fresh in the Willow Oaks Shopping Center on Fox Hill Road in Hampton selling dog bandannas, T-shirts, magnets, scarves and other items to spread awareness and raise money for the shelter.

All proceeds benefit the dogs awaiting adoption at the shelter.

"We go to Farm Fresh, and it's not just about the fundraising, it's about spreading awareness for the shelter," Carter said. "Telling people that we're out there because we're not big, it's an opportunity to tell people we're here."

Info: animalaid-va.org or call 757-865-0511 to volunteer.

Joseph can be reached by phone at 757-374-3134.

Volunteering/fundraising events

SPCA Fur Ball

Pets are allowed to join the party during the 10th Annual SPCA Mardi Gras-themed Fur Ball on Feb. 4 at the Newport News Marriott at City Center (740 Town Center Drive, Newport News) from 6 to 11 p.m. The event includes cocktails, food, music, a live auction and a Mardi Paws Pet Parade.

Tickets are on sale now, and all proceeds from the event support the Peninsula's many homeless animals. Black tie attire is optional. Info: peninsulaspca.org/furball.

Peninsula Agency on Aging, Inc.

Join the Peninsula Agency on Aging and local band London for a Meals on Wheels benefit concert and 50/50 raffle on Feb. 6 at the Triangle restaurant in Williamsburg from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is $25. Volunteers are needed daily for the Meals on Wheels program. Info: paainc.org or 757-873-0541.

Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers to empower young girls. On Feb. 11 and 25, the GOTR holds its spring coach certification event. Coaches spend 90 minutes, two days a week over 12 weeks, leading lessons to transform the lives of young girls in the Yorktown, Hampton and Newport News areas. Training is from from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both days in the first floor conference room of the Pembroke Office Building 4 (291 Independence Blvd.) in Virginia Beach. New coach certification costs $12. Info: gotrshr.org.

18th annual Country for Kids Concert

Listen to the music of Sarah Evans and Alec Edmonds live in concert at the Hampton Roads Convention Center on Feb. 11 from 6 to 11 p.m. Concert tickets are $25 and proceeds directly benefit the Center for Child & Family Services. VIP tickets are $55. Info: countryforkids.com/cfk2017/index.html.

Tinted Pearls

Paint It Forward: Paint for a good cause at Wine and Design (707 Mariners Row, Suite 102, Newport News) from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 11 sponsored by Tinted Pearls. Tickets are $40 and online registration is required. Register at wineanddesign.com. Info: 757-223-0603.

Lupus Foundation of America DMV Chapter

The Lupus Foundation of America DMV Chapter is holding a private showing of John Wick 2 on Feb. 12 at 4 to 7 p.m. at Paragon City Center (11810 Fountain Way Suite J, Newport News). The theater will donate $6 per ticket to the Lupus Foundation of America DMV Chapter to benefit patients in Hampton Roads that suffer from lupus. Buy tickets at johnwick2moviefundraiser.eventbrite.com. Moviegoers should arrive at 3:20 p.m. Info: LFADMVNN@gmail.com or 757-598-4881.

Big Brothers Big Sisters and Literacy for Life

Dancing with the Williamsburg Stars: 7 p.m. March 4 at Phi Beta Kappa Hall on the campus of the College of William and Mary. Info: williamsburgstars.com.

NATASHA's House

NATASHA's House is collecting gently worn shoes until March 8 for Funds2Orgs. The women's safe home receives funding for the total weight of shoes they collect that helps single moms and children in the local area. Info: natashahouse.org.

Newport News One City Marathon

Newport News One City Marathon: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 12 at Victory Landing Park in downtown Newport News. Volunteers needed. This event benefits multiple charitable organizations. Info: onecitymarathon.com or email jennifer.st.martin@vdh.virginia.gov to volunteer.

Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula

Steak N' Burger Dinner: 6 p.m. on March 23 at Hellenic Community Center. Info: bagclub.com.

LINK

Holistic Wellness Expo: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 25 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Info: linkhr.org.

Girl Scouts Cookie Program

Girl Scout cookies are on sale now until March 26. Cookies are $4 per box, except s'mores and gluten-free Toffee-tastics, which are $5 per box.

Cookie buyers can purchase in person or online through the "Digital Cookie" option. Delivery begins Feb. 18.

On March 25, the Samoa Soiree, an adult-only tasting event benefiting the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast takes place in Norfolk. Tickets go on sale Feb. 1. Info: gsccc.org/en/events/samoa-soiree.

Contact each organization to become a volunteer.

Social events

Tradition Brewing Company

•Trivia Night: Every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m.

•College Night: Every Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. Must be 21 and up.

•Oms and Ale Yoga Class with Zenya Yoga: Every Saturday from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Cost: $15. Info: traditionbrewing.com.

Cozzy's Comedy Club & Tavern

•Open Mic Nights: Every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

•Super Bowl Party: Noon Feb. 5. Info: cozzys.com.

Aromas

•Open Mic Nights: Every Wednesday from 7 to 10 p.m. Info: aromasworld.com.

The Arc Williamsburg

•Open Art Studio: 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 30 at Open Art Studio at Colonial Folk Art Studio & Gallery, Williamsburg.

•Fitness Team Yoga: 7 to 8:45 p.m. Jan. 31 at JCC Recreational Center in Williamsburg. Attendance by reservation only and membership to The Arc Williamsburg is $20. Call 229-3535 or email pam.mcgregor@thearcgw.org. No Arc transportation provided.

Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center

Paint Night: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 3. Paint with Chelsea VanHook for $20 at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center.

Virginia Living Museum

Bacchus Wine and Food Festival: 7 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 3. Cost: $60 until Jan. 29 and $70 after. Info: thevlm.org/bacchus or 757-595-1900.

Spring Adult Softball

Join an adult softball league by registering returning teams beginning on Feb. 6 and new teams on Feb. 13. The two leagues include one male league on Tuesday nights and two coed leagues on Friday nights. All games are doubleheaders and take place at McReynolds Athletic Complex (MAC), Chisman Creek Park, or Tabb Middle School in York County.

Team registration is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is accepted in person at the Parks, Recreation and Tourism office located at 100 County Drive, Yorktown. Cost is $550 per team. Info: 757-890-3500.

Peninsula Fine Arts Center

Artini: Jazzing Up the Martini: 6:15 to 10 p.m. Feb. 10. Artini is a jazz-themed event that includes food from local restaurants including Fin, Harpoon Larry's, County Grill and more. The event also includes drink tastings. Tickets are $45 and $60 after Feb. 3. Call 757-596-8175 for tickets, or visit downinggross.org.

Sunday Funday: 2:30 to 4 p.m. Feb. 5. For preschoolers and their families. Includes kid-friendly art activities. Info: pfac-va.org.

LEGO Batman Build Event

Celebrate the opening of "The LEGO Batman Movie" at Peninsula Town Center on Feb. 25 from 2 to 4 p.m. with giveaways and LEGO building. The event is free and open to the public at Barnes and Noble.

Club Waka

VA Peninsula Indoor Volleyball: Nine weeks of volleyball games inside the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula in Newport News are $65 per player. Registration ends March 1. Info: kickball.com/season/vapeninsulaindoorvolleyballspring2017.

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