Who doesn't like shopping for free? That's the opportunity the Prom Remix committee wants to give Union County high school girls heading to the prom.
For the second year, Prom Remix will host a shopping event to provide dresses and accessories at no charge to teenagers who might not otherwise be able to afford the big dance.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at First United Methodist Church, 207 S. Court St.
Mattie Berbee, Prom Remix planning committee chairwoman, said research by Visa Inc. shows the average family in the United States spends $1,136 on prom. The committee, which also includes Erin Laslow, Hannah Nichols, Jody Paul and Pam Sturwold, wants local teenagers to realize that looking and feeling good on their prom day does not have to be expensive.
Prom Remix aimed to get 100 dresses donated to the cause. It had gathered more than 150 dresses as of the middle of last week, and Discount Fashion Warehouse has given 100 new accessories.
Berbee said last year, organizers didn't get as many girls as they expected but almost 30 attended.
"The feedback that we received from those that came was positive, so we felt the value was there to do it again," Berbee said. "We expect to have the same, if not more. We don't require any kind of registration so it's hard for us to know."
The event is first-come, first-serve. Girls are assigned a volunteer personal shopper who helps them find the right size and styles they like. Berbee said she is confident all girls will be able to find something because there is a large variety available.
Last year, everyone left with a dress and accessories.
"Some people walked away with a new shoes, a purse and accessories. Everyone that comes, whether they get a dress or not, is entered into a raffle for door prizes," Berbee said.
Prizes are donations from local salons for a free hairstyle and makeup.
Berbee said last year, some people who came to the event wanted to give a donation.
"One lady slipped a $20 bill into a worker's pocket because they really couldn't understand why we would want to give those things away for free," she said. "They really are nice dresses, and some are even brand-new dresses donated."
Berbee said the majority of the girls who came to Prom Remix last year were juniors, so she hopes they'll return. She also wants them to bring a friend.
"We're always so excited, but it's also a little scary. You never know what happens when hundreds of girls walk through the door, but I think we have plenty of options," Berbee said.
Berbee hopes to make more memories like the ones from last year's inaugural Prom Remix.
"One mother and daughter came in with no expectations. They came just to check it out and ended up leaving with a dress, and she was one of the raffle winners," Berbee said. The girl won a package to have her hair and makeup done and also got a dress, purse and shoes at no cost.
"Her mom was actually in tears at the end, just thankful," Berbee said. "That was really nice."
For more information about Prom Remix or making a donation, email email@example.com or visit its Facebook page.
Prom Remix is a partner of the Care Train of Union County, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides food and toys to families and individuals who are experiencing economic difficulties during the holiday season.
Prom Remix will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at First United Methodist Church, 207 S. Court St.