9th annual Prom Dress Sale kicks off at YWCA

BRISTOL, TN (WJHL-TV) – Spring will be here soon and that is when a young girl’s thoughts turn to prom season.

With that in mind, the YWCA Junior Board of Directors kicked off its 9th annual Prom Dress Sale on Thursday. This year’s sale features around 1,400 new and gently used dresses along with tables full of shoes and other accessories.

“This absolutely is the biggest one, it has been growing steadily each year. We feel that we are getting close to probably 1,400 dresses that are going to be available for girls to look at,”, Director of Mission Advancement Tammy Henkel said, “Nine years ago, we were starting with about 100 dresses, then we moved up to say 500 dresses, then the next thing we knew, about three years ago, it was always hitting about 1,000 or more. It’s grown to be very popular.”

The sale will be from 3 – 6 pm on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 with these two days for students only and from 9 am – noon on Saturday, Feb. 25 and is open to the public this day. Girls will be able to try on up to three dresses at a time and will be able to purchase up to two.

“You don’t have to have an invitation to come, it doesn’t really matter what school you go to, and we reach out to all of them to let them know that all of the dresses are $25, regardless if they have tags and have never been worn. But we also work with all the area high schools so that if there is a girl who cannot afford the $25, then she may have the dress for free. Including the accessories.”, Henkel said.

With 1,400 dresses to choose from, they have a good selection of all sizes. But there are a couple of sizes that they are always in need of.

“We’re doing pretty good, we’re always challenged with our fuller-figure sizes, so sizes 16 and up, we’re always taking donations. Definitely size 20 and up. If any ladies have prom attire in that size, we welcome those donations now thru Saturday,”, Henkel said, “And then also we have sizes zero all the way up and a lot of our little, tiny girls too need dresses so that zero to 2 is a popular size that needs to be donated.”

The YWCA collects dresses year round for this sale. Additional drop off points besides the YWCA are the Virginia Highlands Community College Financial Aid Office and ETSU Women’s Resource Center or you can call 423-968-9444.

Prom season can be very expensive and that could cause problems for some girls wanting to go to prom. Organizers hope this sale can enables more girls to have a memorable prom.

Henkel adds, “You really have to think about, these girls are expected to be able to pay for a prom ticket, they’re expected to be able to have the money to be able to go out and eat dinner, and have that beautiful dress that now, I think, averages $500-800 plus accessories. That’s hundreds of dollars that these girls do not have.”

The sale is being held in the gymnasium of the YWCA located at 106 State St. In Bristol, TN.

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