Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center closed up shop early Thursday, April 17, to welcome more than 250 women to a party with a purpose — a bi-annual Girlfriends Night Out.
In 2011, Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center, 5150 Garrison St., decided to host a fundraiser for a charity to help the community and bring more interest to the company. Emulating similar events throughout the country, Girlfriends Night Out brings women and businesses together for a purpose.
“Girls just want to have fun,” said Harriett McMillan, an event organizer and horticultural specialist at Echter’s. “Cyndi Lauper told us that 20 years ago and it’s true, we want to have fun. This is an all-around nice event, and we get to help the community.”
The evening’s purpose was to bring people together raising funds and awareness for the Ralston House, an organization dedicated to fighting and serving children and teen victims of sexual, emotional or physical abuse. In previous years, the evening has benefited Hope House of Colorado and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.
“This is an opportunity for us to provide, really a community service with Hope House of Colorado and Ralston House,” McMillan said. “These are both community organizations that fill a real need and we are able to help them with their fundraising needs.”
The event featured 42 vendors sprinkled throughout the garden center, showcasing crafts, garden supplies, skincare products and food from several Arvada eateries.
“I like the organizations that they’re supporting,” attendee Wendy Brazzell said. “I think that when you’re supportive of such organizations and have a fun event to support them, it’s nice to have the combination of being able to support the organization that you like at a fun event.”
While in its third year, the event was relatively unknown to many first-time attendees, like Beth Todor, who came to the event for the first time after reading about it in a company newsletter.
“This is something that when I saw it, I emailed my girlfriends right away,” Todor said. “I love Echter’s and I love even more the fact that it’s a fundraiser for Ralston House; I’m glad we had it here.”
The event is part of the family-run and owned garden center’s annual open house tradition, which celebrates all things horticultural and the business’s birthday.
For more information on Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center, visit