Witches Night Out

Witches Night Out Louisville founder Cory Dahlkamp (right) with her mother, Bette Gunkel, who died after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer.
Photo by SSH Photography.

spooktacular party for an extraordinary cause will take place this weekend at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Cory Dahlkamp, the founder of Witches Night Out, hopes to fill the space with more than a thousand costume-clad ladies in support of Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky (OAK). To learn more about the party, we spoke with founder and director of Witches Night Out, Cory Dahlkamp.

How it Started

“I lost my mom to ovarian cancer on Nov. 25, 2017, after a three-year battle,” she revealed. “She had no clue she had it, and when it is diagnosed at late stage – which is typical since there is no screening test – it is rarely survivable. I don’t want this horrible cancer to keep sneaking up on people. When it is found at stage one, the five-year survival rate is 92 percent. The problem is, that with no screening, only 15 percent of cases are found at this early stage. At stage three, the five-year survival rate is approximately 39 percent and stage four is only 17 percent.

“I have been crying about ovarian cancer for years now,” Dahlkamp continued. “You get more attention when you are positive and fun, so that is what this event is – a fun and positive way to spread awareness and raise funds to help OAK with their mission.”

The Overall Mission

Witches Night Out is about women helping women. “We have chosen to focus on ovarian cancer because the mortality rate hasn’t changed in 30 years, and it is time to do something about it,” she explained. “I hesitate to say how much I would like to raise, because for me I would give every dollar I have to educate and empower women to advocate for their health. As a first-year event and for a cause that is underrepresented, I will be thrilled if we fill that room with women having fun, learning about ovarian cancer and helping us build for next year.”

Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky states that, “Until there’s a test, awareness is best.”

“Their mission is to educate people on the signs and symptoms that are often overlooked because they are already so common in women,” said Dahlkamp. “They run support groups, spread awareness, run a program called Survivors Teaching Students that helps educate third-year medical students and nursing students and they do so much more.”

What to Expect

Shopping, dancing, eating, signature cocktails, an amazing silent auction and VIP lounge are in store for guests of this women-only event. “They can have a fun night out with their girlfriends and help a good cause at the same time,” said Dahlkamp. “With witches all around, it will surely be a spectacle.”

Dahlkamp has a solid team helping her put on the event, but she is always seeking more volunteers.

“I have a team of about 15 people that I have counted on to do various jobs related to the event,” she said. “Without their support and the support of OAK, it wouldn’t have been possible to make this happen.”

A Big Impact

“Ninety-five cents on the dollar donated to OAK is used for programming and stays local for Kentuckians,” said Dahlkamp.

Those interested in attending can save 50 percent on a ticket by using the code “OAK50.” Tickets will also be available at the door, but those who pre-order can take their ticket to Caufield’s Novelty and save 15 percent on their entire purchase.

“I don’t want others to have to be blindsided by this horrible cancer and have to go through what my family went through,” Dahlkamp affirmed. “If I had to lose my mom to this, I am going to spread the word to help someone else save the women they love.” VT

Witches Night Out

Kentucky Exposition Center

6 p.m. Oct. 27

witchesnightoutlouisville.org