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Rugby Eagles Auxiliary holds Ladies Night Out

By Sue Sitter - | Oct 31, 2020

Submitted Photo Ken and Peggy Walters display a collection of handmade masks at the Eagles’ Auxiliary Ladies Night Out.

The Rugby Eagles Auxiliary invited area women to shop and showcase their home businesses at its annual Ladies’ Night Out at the Rugby Eagles building on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Event organizer Holly Niemi called the evening a success.

“It went okay,” Niemi said. “I knew the numbers were going to be down. We didn’t take a count, but it looked like the (vendors and attendees) who did come were serious about coming and seeing who was all there and they bought stuff from all the different vendors, so everybody had a good night.”

“We centered around home-based businesses or craft items individuals made,” Niemi noted.

“We had a lady who represented a company Damsel in Defense,” Niemi said of one business that attracted attention in the dining room filled with tables, each with items for sale and information about the business selling them. “Damsel in Defense was kind of interesting,” Niemi added. “That’s a company that does pepper spray and items to protect yourself. We had Norwex (a company selling chemical-free household products) and a lot of the businesses that these lovely ladies have out of their house, but they don’t really get publicity for unless you know them or happen to see them,” she added.

Niemi said the idea for the Eagles Auxiliary’s Ladies Night Out came about because “we wanted to showcase our ladies in the area who had home-based businesses and all the creative people who make all those gorgeous crafts.”

Auxiliary members made individually-wrapped sandwiches and bars available for sale. “We have a lady who makes wonderful egg salad,” she said. “We had two different egg salads this year. They were delicious. We had ham and cheese sandwiches. Our auxiliary has wonderful bakers, so we had bars. This is how we raised some of our money for our charity donations,” Niemi said. “There was no admission,” she added. “People could just come in and look around.”

“Other than the fee to rent a table, we don’t ask for money from the vendors for anything else like door prizes because (participants) are running small home businesses,” she added. “You’ve got to keep the money where it belongs. They get to keep the money they make, and they’re in charge of the taxes and everything (from their sales).”

Niemi said the event and others like it “raise money for local charities. That would be like the library, the hospital, especially the 501( c )3 non-profits. Sometimes, we help local causes, such as the senior center – they need a new roof. So, we’ve been talking about helping to do a fundraiser for that.”

“Statewide, we give to Muscular Dystrophy of North Dakota,” Niemi said of the Eagles Auxiliary. “We donate to domestic violence prevention charities and everything to do with kids – Home on the Range, things like that,” she added, referring to a working ranch that provides therapy for North Dakota children.

“Nationwide, we donate to the Diabetes Research Center in Des Moines, Iowa. The Eagles helped to get that going,” Niemi added. (National Eagles chapters) donated $25 million to that. We donate to the American Heart Association. We do a lot of donations like that. And 100 percent of our donations go to the charity. None of it goes for office expenses or anything like that. So, if the senior center wanted $100, or we raised $1,000, 100 percent of that would go to them.”

Niemi said the auxiliary takes health and safety precautions at events such as Ladies’ Night Out.

“We had hand sanitizer at each door. A lot of people had it at their tables,” she said of the Thursday evening sale. “We had a lady who had made 900 masks in the last few weeks, and she said those sold very well.” Niemi said. “I have some of them down at my store for sale for her. And she is famous for saying, ‘Let’s give (all proceeds) to charity this time.’ So that’s really nice. And there was just amazing stuff out there. There was another lady who does woodworking, and she had deacon’s benches and cedar chest-type items. It was amazing.”

“Our next plan is to hold a turkey bingo game next month,” she said, noting the event would be open to the public. “We held a turkey bingo game for the first time last year,” she added. “It was fun last year. It was our first time and we worked out the glitches,” she added. “But, it all depends on this lovely COVID. We’re going to have masks recommended but not required. We’re going to have hand sanitizers and be as responsible as we can.”

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