Volunteers preparing for 14th annual Dazzle Daze

Dazzle Daze, Conway’s holiday shopping extravaganza, will return to the Conway Expo Center on Thursday, Nov. 19, through Saturday, Nov. 21.

One of Central Arkansas’ largest holiday shopping events, it will offer a wide variety of holiday fare with more than 80 merchants expected. Merchandise will include jewelry, gourmet food, décor, clothing, toys, artwork and numerous other holiday gift items.

The three-day fundraising event for Conway Regional Health System will begin Thursday with Girls’ Nite Out, from 6 to 9 p.m. with a variety of food offerings from Taziki’s Mediterranean Grill. Shoppers line up early for their first peek at those must-have holiday gifts as well as opportunities to win prizes such as Fletcher Smith jewelry or a Conway Women’s Med Spa gift certificate. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. The Conway Expo Center is located at 2505 E. Oak St/Hwy 64E.

This year’s co-chairs Aimee Prince and Wendy Nelson are predicting “some exciting new things” for Dazzle Daze 2015. Prince said the first 300 Girls Nite Out shoppers will receive special gift bags with all sorts of treats, some will have special gifts from Conway Women’s Med Spa, Fletcher Smith Jewelers, Exotic Tans or other sponsors.

Prize drawings at 9 p.m. will include a pearl necklace donated by Fletcher Smith Jewelers and two $500 gift cards for med spa services donated by Conway Women’s Med Spa. Girls’ Nite Out will bring smiles to the faces of Prince and Nelson as months of planning and preparation come together. “I like being involved in everything and working to make it all happen,” said Nelson. “It’s exciting to plan something for a long time and see it through to fruition. All those hours behind the scenes; nobody sees all of the planning and preparation.”

In fact, 175 volunteers were involved last year’s event, putting in almost 900 hours of service. While most of the those volunteers are working during the event, the co-chairs and a steering committee of about 35 volunteers work all year in committees and brainstorm ideas to make Dazzle Daze more fun each year.

13 years of giving back

“I love giving back and working for something that can impact so many people,” said Prince.

She noted that Dazzle Daze has raised more than a half million dollars to support health care at Conway Regional over the last 13 years. Dazzle Daze  has supported the expansion of surgical and obstetrics services, purchased equipment to increase patient safety in the ER, endowed scholarships for health care students and medically-needed memberships to the Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center and supported Women’s and Infant’s Services, Oncology and Cardiovascular Services.

This year’s proceeds will go toward purchase of medical equipment as well as funding medical and fitness center scholarships and support for patient and community programs like mammography for underserved women in Faulkner County.

The main shopping attraction for Dazzle Daze, Prince said, is “getting something for everybody.” Over the years, organizers have added vendors for men as well as children and women’s gifts. Vendors for men’s gifts this year will include:

  • Laser’s Edge Plus (field kits for dressing deer)
  • Ted’s Knives (custom made pocket and hunting  knives)
  • Pike’s Pens (custom made pens)
  • Leatherworks (a Heber Springs merchant who makes handcrafted belts, wallets)
  • Hunter’s Corner (a variety of supplies and accessories for the hunter in the family)

Who will win the car?

The raffle is one of the headliners for Dazzle Daze each year as every ticket holder hopes to win a convertible Ford Mustang.

Currently available, only 500 tickets will be sold at $100 each. The drawing for the four winners will be held at 4 pm Saturday, Nov. 21, at the conclusion of Dazzle Daze.

Each ticketholder will have an opportunity to win one of the following prizes:

  • 2016 black Ford Mustang convertible from Smith Ford, valued at more than $30,000
  • A 75-inch Sony flat screen HDTV, donated in part by DeBoard Electronics
  • A $2,500 med spa gift certificate, donated by Conway Women’s Med Spa
  • A $1,000 furniture gift certificate, donated by Cajun Brothers Furniture

Tickets are on sale at several locations in Faulkner County.

Anyone wishing to purchase a ticket can do so from a Women’s Council member or at the Conway Regional Health Foundation offices, located at Western and Louvenia avenues. Other Conway outlets include: 501 LIFE, the Log Cabin Democrat, Smith Ford, Cajun Brothers Furniture, H3 Home + Décor, U.S. Pizza Co. and the Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center. Greenbrier locations are First Security Bank and Daisy-A-Day Florist. Tickets are also available at La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery in Little Rock.

For more information about Dazzle Daze or the raffle, visit DazzleDaze.com or call 501.513.5191.

Other attractions include:

  • Pajama Party with Santa – 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20. Tickets are $15 and include general admission to Dazzle Daze for an adult and child, story time and photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a special treat and a visit from Elsa, Anna and Olaf. The party is limited to the first 100 children and tickets must be purchased in advance.
  • Visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus – 4-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. Professional photo packages starting at $15.
  • General Shopping with more than 80 holiday vendors at Dazzle Daze – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. Tickets are $5 for general admission and children 12 and younger are free.

Dazzle Daze was established in 2001 by the Conway Regional Women’s Council. The Council is an advocacy group with more than 140 members who promote women’s health education in addition to raising funds for health care at Conway Regional. The Women’s Council has been recognized for its philanthropy with two state awards: Outstanding Organization by the Arkansas Business and Professional Women and Outstanding Philanthropic Organization by the Arkansas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.