Girls, dads, uncles and some grandpas, too, enjoy a ‘Wild West’ Gala for Girls.

  Giddy-up cowgirls and cowboys! The fifth annual Gala for Girls was held Friday, February 1 from 5 - 8:30 p.m. at the Crookston National Guard Armory. A full house of 126 girls in grades K-6 and their guests, including special guest of honor Anna Funk, got their yee-ha on with the Wild West - Kickin' It Up for Girls themed night. To help even the shyest of cowgirls get into spirit of the old west each girl was given a stem of daisies, a cow girl hat and a commemorative cup.

    While the cowgirls and their special guests comprised of fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other male role models mingled to the sounds of the Mudbucket Band, a special picture of each the little ladies and their dates was taken courtesy of Nicole Wandrie of Joyful Heart Photography. These photos will be mailed to the girls along with a memory card upon which the cowgirls and cowboys wrote down a few of their favorite parts of the evening.

   Dinner was served at tables with famous names reminiscent of pioneering times such as Laura Ingalls Wilder and Annie Oakley. During the meal, Isabelle Smith was called to the front as the crowd wished her a very happy seventh birthday. In addition, Anna Funk was introduced to the crowd and was seated at a table with Miss Crookston Mikayla Hensrud and  first runner-up Natalie Koch. Funk was chosen for this role in a random drawing of participant names.

    After dinner and door prizes it was time to for some toe tapping and do-si-doing to the sounds of DJ, Z Martin Entertainment and Promotions. The girls and their dates two-stepped the night away to an array of popular tunes.

    Event organizer Sarah Reese commented on the uniqueness of this event as “An opportunity for positive male role models to be a part of a girl's life.”

    Numerous studies have proven that having a positive male role model in a girl's life during her formative years equates to better performance in school and a higher level of self-esteem, Reese continued.

    A special “thanks y'all” goes out to the committee members and ranch hands that made this event possible, including: Karen Brekken, Kirsten Fagerlund, Melissa Hayes, Tara Miller, Judy Meyer, Marley Melbye, Sarah Reese, Francine Olson, Anna Corona, D'Anne Johnson, Jenipher Weber, Lisa Loegering and Sue Thompson.