When teens enter the prom shoppe at Apex United Methodist Church this weekend, they’ll be faced with a room full of sparkle.
Formal gowns, accessories and shoes are just some of the items that girls can choose from – for free.
This is the eighth year the church has held the prom shoppe, and the program has continued to grow.
Stacy Kivett, the mission leader for the event, estimates there will be at least 1,000 dresses to choose from, the most so far in the program’s history.
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The church accepts donations, plus, a similar organization donated 500 dresses after ending its prom dress program.
“Our main goal is to help as many girls as possible,” said Kivett, who has led the mission for three years and been involved for another two. “We want to get as many as we can so we can make their night as special as possible.”
The program has proven to be so popular, that last year, extra hours were added. Organizers kept the event to two days this year.
Here’s what you need to know about how to get a dress:
The details: The shop is open 3 to 7 p.m., Friday, March 11, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 12. Apex United Methodist Church is at 100 S. Hughes St.
What you get: A dress, shoes, makeup, accessories and a handbag. It’s all free.
Any requirements? Nope. There are no referrals and no proof of need. It’s first-come, first-served, Kivett said. Just come to the church and line up. Shoppers will get a number, and then a volunteer will escorts groups into the shopping area.
The scene: All of the dresses have been inspected, including an inspection from teens who make sure the gowns are still stylish. Organizers decorate the church with balloons, and music will be playing. No men are allowed in the room with the dresses. So those who want to show off their new attire can go to a new photo-taking area for modeling and selfies. A makeup consultant also will be on site to give tutorials.
What it means: For the organizers, who have been working hard to put the event together, they get pleasure seeing girls find the perfect dress. “It never ceases to amaze me,” Kivett said. “It’s like that dress is absolutely made for them. They’re absolutely stunning.”
Throughout the day, they hear from parents who get emotional as they watch their girls find what they want to feel beautiful. “We hear all the stories, the tears from the moms, who didn’t think they could give it to their girls,” Kivett said. “All the work that goes into it is so worth it.”
Information: Go to Facebook.com/AUMCPromShoppe or email email@example.com.