WILKES-BARRE – Long flowing coral taffeta and sleek black sequin gowns were only some of the prom dresses available for the taking during the Prom Dress Sale Spectacular in the Henry Student Center on Wilkes University’s campus Saturday.
The prom dress sale, featuring gently used gowns, was open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They were being sold for a minimum donation of $20. In addition, accessories such as shoes, purses and jewelry were available for $5.
All proceeds raised benefited senior environmental engineering student, Katie Cirone’s Relay for Life Team. Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in which teams walk all day and into the night to raise money to fight cancer and raise awareness about disease prevention.
Wilkes University will hold its Relay to Life starting at noon April 20 on the greenway behind the Stark Library; it is scheduled to end at 6 a.m. on April 23 in the gym.
Cirone, of Middlesex, N.J., said the idea for the prom dress sale came from a friend. Prom dresses are the type of thing that hang in a closet and are never used again, she said. Many girls were happy to give their dresses a second chance to shine and give someone else an opportunity for a glamorous prom experience. Many university students brought their dresses back from home when they returned to campus following spring break, she said.
“We hoped for about 50 prom dress,” she said. “The event snowballed. We had 200 dresses.”
Her team of 15 students sent letters and fliers to all the high schools in Luzerne County. The university’s public relations department helped too, by notifying the area news media, she said.
All the hard work to promote apparently was worth it. There were people waiting outside of the student center at 8:45 a.m., Cirone said.
“We raised $500 in the first half hour,” she said. “I just can’t believe the turnout.”
One room of the Henry Student Center was converted into a “boutique.”
Several girls browsed with their mothers and friends. Terry Balint, of Larksville, was looking with her daughter.
“There is a nice selection,” she said. “It is a good event to benefit the Relay to Life.”