Sunday, August 31, 2014

Prom Boutique, free dresses returning

By MEGAN FINDLEY, Herald Staff Writer | 3/6/2013

Some girls can’t afford the expensive dresses often expected at high schools proms.

But it doesn’t mean they can’t attend what is one of the biggest events of a student’s high school career.

Some girls can’t afford the expensive dresses often expected at high schools proms.

But it doesn’t mean they can’t attend what is one of the biggest events of a student’s high school career.

The annual Prom Boutique is returning Sunday at the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium and is expected to offer more than 400 dresses to young girls in need of an affordable option. And what’s more affordable than free?

“This is a great event for girls who can’t afford dresses from stores,” Shelbi Allen, a West Franklin High School senior and past volunteer at the event, said. “[And for volunteers] it really makes you appreciate what you have in life.”

Janice Craft, with the Ottawa Volunteer Center, is in her first year organizing the Prom Boutique. Though it’s meant to be a “fun and heartwarming event,” Craft said, it’s a lot of hard work and requires many volunteers. Last year’s Prom Boutique drew 78 girls from 12 high schools in five different counties, she said. Individuals who want to volunteer are encouraged to email Craft at jcraft@eckan.org or call (785) 2114-4556.

“Many different businesses also donate their time to help these girls,” Allen said.

Business owners and workers not only contribute money and needed items, but some even donate their time to work hands-on with the girls. The Prom Boutique is expected to include three mini events, including work with a Mary Kay representative, two hair dressers to help with ideas for prom hairdos, and eyebrow waxing. More than 100 door prizes, all prom related — tanning, manicures, pedicures, hair appointments, etc. — are planned.

The event is for girls only.

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