PENDLETON — With prom season approaching, more than 100 Madison County students received a boost toward ensuring their high school celebrations will be something to remember.
“We gave away 109 dresses on Saturday,” said Misty Stanley, organizer of GVC Mortgage’s second annual prom dress give-away.
The event took place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 5, at 600 Corporation Drive in Pendleton.
Students signed up for a half-hour time slots, Stanley said.
Twenty volunteers, mostly GVC employees and family members, helped run the event, which was set up to serve 16 students per hour. The event took place in a large unoccupied part of the building. The space was decoarated and included areas with pedestals and mirrors, where students could stand and get a good look at how their selections looked from all angles.
There were also refreshments, including the chance to enjoy a mock mormosas served in champagne flutes.
“We kind of wanted to make it a big day for them,” Stanley said. “We wanted to make it special and unique.”
This year’s dress total was 27 more than last year.
Most of the dresses were purchased new from Macy’s and David’s Bridal in Castleton, Stanley said. A few were donated.
Dresses were paid for by the Wisehart Foundation, a local non-profit organization set up by the three siblings who own GVC, in honor of their mother.
In addition to a dress, participating students could have their dresses altered without charge and also receive a voucher for salon services prior to prom.
Allison Helmer, a Pendleton Heights senior, said she was able to find a dress, with the help of her brother’s girlfriend and the GVC helpers.
“It was pretty good,” she said. “I liked how organized it was and that there were a lot of dresses there to choose from.”
She said she tried on four dresses, and ended up with a white dress with gold sparkle design, form fitting but flowing at the bottom.
“It probably took me about 40 (minutes) just to carefully pick through and make sure I picked the right one.”
She said the GVC volunteers were very friendly and helpful.
She said she didn’t know any of them, and “just the fact that they’d help me out was nice.”
Kelli Symmes and her mother, Becky Carter, accompanied Brynly Symmes, a senior at Frankton High School, to the event.
“It’s neat. It’s really cool,” Kelli Symmes said. “I think it’s completely awesome.”
Her daughter received personal attention, and in a moment of uncertainty, she let the volunteers vote on which dress looked best.
It’s “almost like a ‘Pretty Woman’ kind of thing,” Kelli Symmes said.
She said the opportunity is great for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go all out for prom.
“And definitely with $4 for a gallon of gas, it helps our pocket a lot.”
Stanley said GVC has already started planning next years event, and “how to make it better.
“It’s just an amazing experience to be able to provide these servies for students in Madison County,” she said. “We got a lot of feedback, just how grateful they are.
“Everybody’s appreciative and gracious and grateful.”