Dozens of women stood in line at Penn's Peak on Wednesday night, waiting for the start of the fifth annual Blue Ridge Communications Prom and Wedding Dress Sale.
The sale featured hundreds of donated prom and wedding dresses, most sold for just $10 each, and a variety of dress shoes, purses and accessories also sold for bargain prices. All sales benefited the Blue Ridge chapter of Dream Come True, which helps to fulfill the wishes of children who are seriously or terminally ill.
"It takes a lot of money to grant the wish of a child," said Julianne Farina, the marketing and public relations coordinator for Blue Ridge and the sale coordinator. She noted that fulfilling a child's "dream" can cost thousands of dollars, and that every dollar raised can make a difference.
"Every little bit helps. Every dress sold is $10 that we didn't have to help grant the wish of a child."
Just minutes after the sale began, high school and college students stood in line at the sale's dressing room to try on their finds for prom and formal events. Brides-to-be waited patiently in line to try on wedding dresses and veils, also being sold at deeply discounted prices. With the price of formal and wedding dresses in the hundreds and thousands of dollars, many thought the chance to get a dress for $10 was worth the wait.
"It's a great event. It helps girls who can't afford or don't want to buy a $500 or $600 dress," said Farina. "They can get a beautiful dress for $10 and also help out Dream Come True."
Farina thanked all of the people who donated dresses and accessories. Because all items are donated, every dollar raised through the sale is donated directly to Dream Come True. The sale attracts hundreds of donations each year.
"We were pleased with the donations this year," she added. "I want to thank everyone for supporting such a great cause. Without the people who donated, and the women who come to buy dresses, we couldn't have this event. If we can do just one thing to help these (Dream Come True) kids out, to make their life a little bit brighter, it's worth it."
More than 150 dresses were sold at this year's Prom and Wedding Dress Sale. The night netted about $2,030 for Dream Come True.
The annual sale has raised more than $15,000 for Dream Come True over the past five years.
Dream Come True is a nonprofit organization that works to fulfill the dreams of children between the ages of 4 and 17 years old who are seriously, chronically or terminally ill and live in the greater Lehigh Valley. The Blue Ridge Chapter serves children who live in Carbon County and parts of Schuylkill, Lehigh, and Monroe counties. Dream Come True has fulfilled more than 1,000 dreams since its founding in 1984, including 55 within Carbon County.
While the dress sale is over until next year, it's not too late to support the local chapter of Dream Come True. Monetary donations can be sent to Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter, P.O. Box 344, Palmerton, PA 18071 or online at www.dreamcometrue-brc.org.