Outlets host Shopping Extravaganza to benefit JAs

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 27, 2015

Those who like to shop found a good deal in Vicksburg Saturday.

The Outlets at Vicksburg celebrated the Eighth Annual Shopping Extravaganza with proceeds benefiting the Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg.

“Some of the proceeds from this event go to the Junior Auxiliary to help us with our service projects that benefit children in the community,” JA member Maggie Nasif said.

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Tickets to the event were $20 and included lunch from the guests’ choice of McAlister’s Deli or Chik-fil-A with dessert provided by AmeriStar Casino.

While the shopping extravaganza has been going on for eight years, this is the third year it has benefited JA. Last year, JA received a little over $14,000 from the fundraising event, and this year their goal was to hit $15,000. JA fundraiser chair Jennifer Walker said they had been selling tickets since July and there was potential to make $15,700. Nasif said they sold almost 380 tickets to the event.

Ticket purchasers received swag bags with coupons and deals for the day including an on-site wine tasting with The Wine House, and two 10-minute spa treatments on site provided by Shonna’s Nails and More.

“It’s one of the favorites that’s for sure,” said Katie Rayborn, administrative marketing assistant at the Outlets at Vicksburg. “Last year it was packed the whole day.”

Each store had a box outside their door for guests to drop off slips of paper from their swag bag, which entered them into a drawing for an item from that store.

A disc jockey provided live music, which created a party atmosphere in the heat of the day, while musicians entertained on the opposite wing of the outlets.

“There are a lot of really great deals and coupons and raffles that I’m excited about,” first-time attendee Sarah Koeppel said. “I just bought tickets for the Kiwanis Club golf ball drop.”

The Kiwanis Club of Vicksburg sponsored a golf ball drop were they sold golf balls and dropped them from a high location onto the ground below. The ball closest to the golf pin won $1,000.

For $5, guests could purchase raffle tickets to be drawn for the Nov. 1 football game between the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints.

Other raffle tickets were sold for $1 each and winners in three drawings received donated gift cards worth $10 to $20 from the stores at the Outlets at Vicksburg. Walker said the gift cards were worth a combined total of $13,000 and people had a one in six chance of winning.

“It’s fun,” Nasif said. “I’ve bought raffle tickets every year and won something every year.”

JA shopping extravaganza chair Jordan Amborn said the tickets stayed in the drawing all day so the earlier they were purchased, the more chances they had to win.

Casey Winningham won four gift cards in one drawing from Carter’s, Purfumania, where she had just been shopping, and two from the outlets that can be used at any of the stores.

“Already I’ve made my money back and some,” Winningham said.

While the parents were shopping, some children got inside giant inflatable balls and rolled around in the grass. Some adults got in on the action too.

“I saw that! I want to do that. Will they let adults do it? I want to try,” Winningham said.

After a day full of walking and shopping, customers were happy to have been able to give to a cause and support the community.

“I just think it’s a really great thing Junior Auxiliary is partnering with the outlet mall and Kiwanis Club and supporting Vicksburg,” Koeppel said. “I like to see those kind of activities. I’m glad to see it.”