Skip to content

Girls Night Out raises funds for United Way

They’ll be bringing the power of their purses to some great causes at the semi-annual Girls Night Out — healthy smiles for St. Francois County children for one, and funds for the United Way for another.

Girls Night Out gives the ladies of the Parkland a fun, relaxing night off, while at the same time giving them a chance to wield the power of their purse for a great cause.

The event is from 5 to 7 p.m. April 26 at the Twin Oaks Vineyard and Winery. You’ll no doubt be invited to enjoy a free wine tasting and a variety of great snacks. Or browse the silent auction items, chat with old friends and enjoy some music. Oh, don’t look now, the hostess, Jackie Berry, is taking the microphone — it must be time to give away some fun and unique door prizes.

Berry, a United Way board member, has been hosting Girls’ Night Out since 2008 and has a knack for keeping everyone suitably charmed and entertained throughout the night.

“We are so looking forward to welcoming friends — new and old — to this fun event at Twin Oaks Vineyard and Winery,” Berry said. “We ask all our guests to bring at least $20 for United Way and to bring their checkbooks to take part in the auction. We just appreciate everyone who gives what they can.”

This year’s Spring Fling will spotlight the Upward Smiles Dental Clinic, which provides dental services for children under 18 who are covered by the state’s insurance program MoHealthNet. The program encompasses Medicaid and working families with moderate incomes whose employers don’t provide insurance.

The new clinic just opened in January and expands the mission of the dental clinic that was at the St. Francois County Health Center, adding more dentist and  hygienist services.

“Every child now gets to see a dentist,” said Sherry Cauley, with Upward Smiles. With the expansion of services, she estimates the clinic is now seeing twice the number of children as before.

The clinic’s selection as the featured Girls’ Night Out charity continues United Way’s commitment to dental health for St. Francois County children, said Donna Hickman, executive director of United Way for St. Francois County.

“Since Upward Smiles just opened in January, we know they need donations of toothbrushes and supplies to give to the children they see,” Hickman said. “Sometimes this toothbrush is the first one a child has ever owned.”

Girls Night Out guests should therefore bring some toothpaste, dental floss or toothbrushes in addition to the $20 donation at the door. Toothbrushes should be in individually wrapped unopened packages.

In addition to all the usual great snacks, free wine tasting and silent auction, guests can get dibs on tickets for B104-KFMO’s United Way of St. Francois County Night at Busch Stadium on July 24. The tickets are $15 and half the ticket cost goes to the United Way.

There are many good reasons to come out and support Girls Night Out with the power of your purse.

“Girls Night Out is just plain fun!” Hickman said. “You’re supporting a couple of really great causes while you get to know some other women, bid on some items you’d love to have and get your tickets for a family outing at the ballpark later on.”

Berry said about 100 women attended the last event, helping United Way raise a substantial portion of its annual commitment to charitable endeavors in the Parkland.

For 2013, United Way has pledged to raise $190,000 for grants to local agencies that meet basic human needs. All funds stay in St. Francois County.

The agency will be accepting grant applications from area helping agencies from April 2 through noon May 10.  Visit for an application.

The United Way also receives funds through payroll deduction programs, holiday bell-ringing, private donations, corporate giving and the Dine Out campaign that begins in September. To inquire about those programs or arrange a donation, contact Hickman at 573-760-8929.

Renée Jean can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 117 or at


Leave a Comment