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      Girls Night Out fills 701 Whaley with fashion

      Chris Benz showcased his 2012 spring collection for the first time since the collection's unveiling during New York's fashion week.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - High fashion hit the runway at 701 Whaley in Columbia Thursday night during the tenth annual Girls Night Out.

      Hundreds of Columbia's best dressed made their way downtown to take part in a night of fashion presented by EdVenture Children's Museum and Coplon's clothing store.

      "Girls Night Out funds EdVenture's educational outreach programs. We have camps, we have exceptional kids programs, and event's like our annual gala and Girls Night Out help to fund our mission, which is to experience the joy of learning," said Kristy Barnes, Marketing Communications Manager for EdVenture Children's Museum.

      The event kicked off around 7 p.m. Thursday with a meet and greet session with New York fashion designer Chris Benz.

      Benz showcased his 2012 spring collection for the first time since the collection's unveiling during New York's fashion week.

      Several local businesses came together to help make the event a success.

      There was plenty of music, food, and drinks to go along with the new designs.

      Art from local artists Ernest Lee, also known as the Chicken Man, and Steven Whetstone adorned the walls of the spacious event venue.

      According to Tom Chinn, Manager of 701 Whaley, the venue mainly hosts weddings, but the venue is also great for fundraising events and fashion events.

      Girls Night Out was held at 701 Whaley for the first time this year due to a growing demand for tickets.

      Each person in attendance was given a "swag bag" that included items such as a manicure from Soak, a free 14-day trial membership at Hampton Hill Athletic Club, one free 30 minute massage from Fuse Massage Therapy, one free cupcake from Cupcake, and Blueberry Pomegranate Flavored Vodka from Little Black Dress

      Girls Night Out is organized each year by EdVenture??s Discovery Council. The Discovery Council is a volunteer group that presents two fundraising events throughout the year, all open to the public.