April 20, 2014
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Ladies First

I’m from Wisconsin, which makes me qualified to know two things: how to eat cheese and how to drive in the snow. Yet the latter doesn’t make me a car buff, so last fall, I took a free class at Lefler Collision & Glass, a body shop, to learn proper maintenance on my 2005 Ford Taurus.

THE SCOOP:
Lefler Ladies’ Night Out, the class, developed a few years ago after owner Jimmy Lefler discovered overwhelming public interest in a teen driving course. “Women make 80 percent of the decisions when it comes to new vehicle purchases and car maintenance,” says Katelynne Edge, Lefler’s marketing manager, “and people assume ladies don’t know anything about it. We wanted women to be empowered.”

Four times a year, around 120 women gather in the 14,000-square-foot body shop on Maxwell Avenue. The atmosphere feels more like a party than a class. Near the entrance, a large inflatable with the ladies’ night logo greets visitors. Upon arrival, guests receive a goodie bag packed with a T-shirt and an accident emergency kit for the car (complete with a disposable camera, flashlight with extra batteries, pen, and an accident report worksheet). After registration, women, who range in age from 20s to 70s, mingle and view female-friendly vendor tables. Then comes the free catered meal.

Divided into two groups, the education begins. One group learns about collision safety from Lefler. He makes an airbag explode. The other group learns about car maintenance from Ed Dietz, Lefler’s district manager. After each 45-minute session, a brief intermission allows Lefler to pass out door prizes, and then the two groups switch classrooms. At the end, women win more door prizes. (I was amazed at the amount of prizes, including oil change certificates and jewelry.)

THE VERDICT:
The night is fun. Bring your girlfriends. Bonus: Did I mention the number of door prizes? Anywhere from 10 to 20.

NEED TO KNOW:
The next Lefler Ladies’ Night Out is Jan. 18 at 1325 Maxwell Ave. The class fills quickly.

Register at www.leflers.com or call 812-402-4044.

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