The third annual Prom and Wedding Dress Sale at Penn's Peak attracted people from throughout the area, all looking for a great deal on dresses, shoes, veils, and accessories for their special occasion.
The annual event raises money for the Blue Ridge Chapter of Dream Come True, which helps to grant wishes for ill children in our area. Dresses were sold for $10 and up. Shoes and accessories were also available for a discounted rate.
"We have had an enormous response," said Julianne Farina, marketing and public relations coordinator for Blue Ridge Communications and an organizer of the annual dress sale. "It helps Dream Come True, but it also helps girls who might not be able to afford $300 for a prom dress."
The response from the community has been overwhelming. Last year's event raised more than $3,000, and Farina was hopeful that this year's sale would raise even more. She estimated that dress donations have more than doubled since last year which meant that there were more than 300 prom and wedding dresses for guests to browse through during the two-hour sale.
"It's really great to see how the community comes to help a good cause. It's a neat event that we look forward to doing each year," said Farina.
Dozens of people lined the hall leading into Penn's Peak's upper balcony as they waited for the sale to begin. When the doors were finally opened, women of all ages (and a few supportive men) began running toward the racks of dresses.
Within minutes, the first to arrive had chosen dresses to try on. The line to the dressing rooms quickly lengthened, but women waited patiently to try on their finds.
Some carried wedding dresses, trying to find a dress that fit for hundreds of dollars less than retail. Others waited to try on prom dresses or a dress for a special occasion.
For Christina Hoffner of Jonas, the drive to Penn's Peak was worth it. She found the perfect wedding dress and was ready to leave just 15 minutes after the sale began. She came for the sale, but was also glad to be supporting a good cause.
"It's a little crowded in here, but the prices were good. It's a good cause. I'm glad they do this every year," said Hoffner, who came to the sale with her friend and fiance. "It's exactly what I wanted strapless and simple."
Mary Hoffman of Jim Thorpe came to the sale with her granddaughter, Briana Borosh, 11, of Nesquehoning, to find a dress for parties. Briana won't be going to proms anytime soon but she did find the perfect red dress for this year's Christmas parties.
It was a first visit to the sale for both women, who were happy with the selection and prices.
Others traveled from as far as Stroudsburg to take advantage of low prices and support Dream Come True.
Ann Johnson came from Stroudsburg with her daughter Taylour after hearing about the event, because she has had family members granted wishes through Dream Come True.
"You can get a dress anywhere, but to have the money go to Dream Come True is great," she said.
As the sale came to an end, Farina and other volunteers began tallying purchases.
The event raised more than $2,000 this year another strong donation for their chapter of Dream Come True.