Story by Lourice Angie
The Village of Warwick Merchant Guild sponsored their 20th annual Ladies Night Out in downtown Warwick on Thurs., Aug. 24. The event benefits Safe Homes of Orange County, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free, confidential, educational, and outreach services to individuals and families affected by domestic abuse and human trafficking. Their trained advocates are available 24/7 and provide support, information and referrals to victims, their families and community members while creating safety, reclaiming equality and pursuing injustice.
Ladies Night Out has become one of the most popular summer events in the Village of Warwick. The evening is dedicated to the ladies, but attracts many people of all ages from near and far. It is a night that families, friends and community come together to enjoy while creating memories for years to come.
Railroad Green was the site of many special activities on Thursday including women’s self defense demonstrations, dance demonstrations and pole dancing. In addition, the streets were lined with vendors selling services and goods.
Mike Spadafina and his 15-year-old son, Ryan, of Spadafina Photography in Warwick, could be seen operating a photo booth on Main St., offering fun dress up accessories to anyone interested in having their picture taken.
Local organizations also offered a variety of services focusing on women’s health, fitness, beauty, and fashion. Downtown Warwick became an afternoon turned evening for many that included extended shopping hours, dining and dancing by participating businesses.
A highlight of the evening was the crowning of a “Queen for a Day” by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard. This year the title went to Susan Dickes, who was honored for her selfless commitment to the Warwick Community. She and her husband, Glenn, have supported numerous activities and community organizations in town including library cultural events, student scholarship awards, the Rotary and Lions clubs, children’s holiday parties, the Backpack Snack Attack program, the Warwick Humane Society and much more.
“So many programs could never be accomplished without her gracious contributions and support,” said Mary Ellen Schmick, who nominated Susan. In recognition of her generous spirit, and caring heart, the Queen was crowned and received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a generous basket overflowing with gifts and goods provided by local businesses.
The ever so humble Dickes was extremely honored to have been chosen as the queen for a day saying, “Thank you. Thank you all so very much.”
For more information about Safe Homes visit www.safehomesorangecounty.org or call their crisis hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 562-5340. To learn more about the Ladies Night Out event, send an email to Corrine at firstname.lastname@example.org.