Bearden Prom Committee plans dress swap to make Prom more affordable

Tori Lafon, Staff Writer

Generally, prom is one of the most anticipated events of a young person’s high school career. Yet, with hefty price tags on prom necessities such as tickets and formal wear, it is also one of the most expensive.

For that reason, Bearden’s Prom Committee developed a prom dress swap, the first in what they plan to be an annual event, in hopes of making prom attendance more feasible for students.

As long as enough people bring in dresses, the event will be in the West Mall on Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“Our main goal is to make prom more affordable for everyone, especially seniors, who have other financial responsibilities such as college and cars,” Prom Committee member Virginia Capps said. “This way, people can put the hundreds of dollars they would spend on prom dresses to other use.”

Students are given two options: they can participate in the swap and exchange a dress for another participant’s or they can simply drop off a gently used dress for someone else to use. People that drop off dresses can chose to donate them either permanently or temporarily.

Anytime before Jan. 30, students can bring these dresses to the library on Thursdays and Fridays before 8:30 a.m.  Everyone dropping off dresses will be required to fill out a brief contract, describing what their dress looks like, their name, and their contact information.

Students will also be required to pay a $10 deposit if they wish to have their dress returned from the swap, but if they are only dropping off dresses, they do not have to pay. After the Prom, if the donor wishes to return or retrieve her dress, she may come back the week of May 11 to pick it up along with the deposit.

“It is a great opportunity to get a great dress for a great price,” Prom Committee member Karin Turnmire said. “It is worth at least browsing because you never know how you might find ‘the dress.’”

At the Prom Dress Swap, the West Mall will be filled with racks of dresses, and the school bathrooms will double as dressing rooms. The dresses will be organized by size and will also be color coordinated to determine which dresses must be returned and which dresses participants are allowed to keep.

At the moment, Prom Committee is still trying to work out a way to ensure that dresses are guaranteed a safe return and that there will be enough dresses to hold the event.

“This is the first year we are doing this, so I’m sure there are going to be some kinks, but everyone in the prom committee is very organized and I think that whatever obstacles we have, we are going to be able to work it out,” Prom Committee sponsor Mrs. Autumn Suranofsky said.

If not enough dresses are donated, the event will be postponed until next year.

For that reason, Prom Committee is hoping that community attendance and donations will help ensure that there are lots of prom dress options for participants.

“As of now, I fear that a lot of people are afraid to donate their dresses, but Prom Committee is working hard to make sure that if any dress is damaged, it will be taken care of without any grief to the owner,” Prom Committee sponsor Anna Graham said. “Because of that, I feel this event is going to be great fun for everyone, inside and outside Bearden.”

If the event is postponed because of a lack of participation, The Bark will tweet an announcement from @BeardenBARK.