Prom and wedding dress sale a success
STACEY SOLT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Rachel Holly of Lehighton tries on a purple dress at the Blue Ridge Communications Prom and Wedding Dress Sale at Penn's Peak. Holly was looking for a unique dress for prom.
Nearly 100 women stood in line at Penn's Peak on Wednesday night, waiting to enter the annual Blue Ridge Communications Prom and Wedding Dress Sale.
These women, ranging from high school students to young brides-to-be, would be rewarded for their patience.
Inside, hundreds of prom, wedding, and special occasion dresses waited on the Penn's Peak balcony to be tried on. Dozens of shoes, purses and shawls were also available.
"It's pretty exciting," said Julianne Farina, an organizer of the annual dress sale and the marketing and public relations coordinator for Blue Ridge Communications.
"It's such a good feeling to see people lining up to help a good cause."
Every dollar collected during the sale will benefit Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter.
"This is one of my favorite events," she added. "It's fun to see the dresses that we get every year, but it's also great to see the girls coming in and to see their faces when they see all of the dresses.
"We have girls who might not be able to go to prom, if not for this sale. Their hands are literally shaking when they buy their dress," Farina added. "They're so excited."
Volunteers for this year's event included Blue Ridge Communications employees and students from the Cedar Crest College chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national community service fraternity.
Volunteers had a common goal: Help customers find the perfect dress, assisting women with zippers, buttons and shoes, and taking discarded dresses back to the racks for others to try on.
Women waited patiently in line outside of the changing rooms, wanting to try on their finds. Many were there to take advantage of the great deals. Dress prices started at just $10, and formal dresses started at $20.
"Prom is really expensive," said Rachel Holly from Lehighton. "We were also looking for something unique, something with 80s' flair. I like this dress," she adding, holding up a purple dress. "Lots of ruffles and lace."
Women traveled from as far as East Stroudsburg to attend the sale. Local high school students were also on site.
"Prom dresses have gone up a lot this year," said Stacey Kerschner of Lehighton. "I bought a dress from a store last year, and I couldn't see spending $300 for a dress this year. It's my senior year. I could put that money toward a college deposit."
This year's event raised more than $2,500 for Dream Come True. Farina estimates that the sale has earned approximately $15,500 for Dream Come True over the past four years.
"I want to say 'thank you' to everyone who donated a dress and to everyone who supports Dream Come True," she added. "It's awesome to see everybody get together to help a great cause, from the people who donated dresses to the girls who purchase the dresses."
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.