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Adding new friends for a good cause

By Staff
Kim West
Earlier this week I spotted a flyer advertising a speed-dating event set for this Saturday night at the Shoals Conference Center adjacent to the Shoals Marriott in Florence.
A "Table for Two," which partially benefits Safeplace, Inc., a non-profit domestic violence assistance organization based in Florence, is being sponsored by Single Mingle, a new business co-owned by two Shoals-area single gal pals, Denise and Donna, who wanted to provide more single-friendly social events and a way for singles to boost their social network.
"This is not really a fundraiser – it's a speed-dating event, but we wanted to share part of the proceeds with Safeplace," Denise said.
"This is about meeting new people and bringing more things to this area. It's possible you might find a soul mate or true love, but you will also have a good opportunity to expand your friend base."
This will be the duo's first speed-dating event, which costs $25 per person and is restricted to ages 21 and older, although they have already scheduled three more similar functions in Huntsville and have also planned smaller events at area restaurants.
"We plan to have a speed-dating event every month and also hold smaller events in restaurants," Denise said.
"'Table for Two' will be basically the same as other speed-dating events, with tables set up so that two women will be sitting at each table and the men will rotate around and talk to each woman. And the tables will be split into age groups for the women."
The age groups will be divided into ages 21-30, 31-40 and 41 and up, and there will be a cash bar and music provided a DJ. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. and the 3-minute dating sessions will begin at 7 p.m.
"We're expecting at least 100 people, and it's a first-come, first-serve registration," Denise said.
She said to expect a wide variety of people in attendance due to regional promotion, and attendees are asked to wear dressy garb.
"We've put flyers up at NASA and the Redstone Arsenal (in Huntsville), Browns Ferry (in Athens) and (Norfolk) Southern Railroad (in Muscle Shoals)," Denise said.
"We've been telling as many people as possible within a 60-mile radius of the Shoals area.
"We are trying to keep it a little upscale, and remember that you're dressing to impress. It will be dressy, but it doesn't have to be formal. A guy can wear jeans with a nice shirt and jacket, and a woman could wear a cute shirt and heels with jeans."
One aspect of the event that she wanted to emphasize was confidentiality.
Each participant will have a scorecard and after the event has concluded, Single Mingle will notify people if they have a match and then set up a no strings-attached lunch date.
"The first 16 people to be matched will receive a restaurant gift card that was donated," she said.
"We stress that people don't give out their last name or phone number at the speed-dating event so they can remain anonymous.
"If they have a match, we'll set them up for a lunch date so they still won't have to give out their name or number in case they don't want to see the other person again."

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