In celebration of strong women and a much-needed night out

By Kim Hasty

It was late, and we had been having a really good time. The dance music had ended, the bartenders were tossing out empty cups and cans, and the vendors were packing up what was left of their yummy scented candles, beautiful handmade jewelry, cute ballcaps with sayings like “Beach Please,” spray tan accessories and homemade goodies.
And there in the middle of all the waning activity came a wise reflection.


“I really admire strong women,” said my friend Shayna Dudak, herself a strong woman.


“Like her,” she added with a nod toward Dr. Elizabeth Sawyer. A surgeon who specializes in breast cancer and trauma, Sawyer had arrived at the event looking cool, collected
and confident despite a day spent battling trauma in a Cape Fear Valley Medical Center operating room. Shayna was right. Dr. Sawyer is one really strong woman.
The official name of this event was Cape Fear Valley Health Presents CityView’s Ladies’ Night Out. I suppose the term “ladies night out” can conjure any number of images.


Indeed, I loved seeing all the fresh flowers and pink lighting and hearing the strains of the dance music coming from the speakers. But I also spent the evening looking
around the lovely Carolina Barn venue, with its polished floors and gleaming light fixtures, and seeing a lot more than pretty surroundings and pretty faces. I saw a variety
of strong women: businesswomen, health care heroes, educators, personal trainers, realtors, crafters, coworkers, friends.


They all showed up to make our first Ladies Night Out event a success. Hey, women come through for each other. Kudos, too, to the more than a few men who showed up, even if some were there under the guise of helping with the heavy lifting. At one point near the end of the evening, a group of women of all ages took to the dance
floor. “And it was magic,” another friend remarked. “People are so ready to return to something normal, and you all gave them that for a night.”
After all, everyone in the room had made it through one of the most challenging years of all time. Speaking of strength, it occurred to me, as I looked around, that we are stronger together.

So this month, here at CityView, we want to thank all of you who attended, including our sponsors, vendors, hosts and volunteers. We hope all of you will join us next year and we can all be stronger together at many events this summer.