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Dress drive is Saturday
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Forsyth County News
Prom Angels dates

• Donations can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Chris Cleaners & Clothes Spa, 6730 Browns Bridge Road.

• The Prom Angels shopping events will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 6 and 13 at My Secret Closet, 4910 Browns Bridge Road.
Glitter doesn’t look so bright and beautiful when shoved in the back of a closet.

Some Forsyth County residents are hoping others will come to the same conclusion and donate lonely formal dresses for upcoming high school proms.

Kimberly Norwood, co-founder of Prom Angels, said the idea came to her after her daughter graduated, leaving behind a gorgeous gown.

“Proms and homecomings are a huge expense,” she said. “Plus, it’s sad that these beautiful dresses are only able to be used basically one time.”

The nonprofit is accepting donations of any good condition prom-related items, including dresses, shoes, handbags and hair accessories. Formal shoes are of particular need.

The organization debuted in the fall with a homecoming dress drive.

Only a “handful” of teens attended the dress event for the less popular autumn dance, Norwood said.

She hopes the organization’s first prom drive will be able to assist more teens.

To participate in the dress shopping event at My Secret Closet boutique, interested students need only perform four hours of community service “as a trade for a dress,” Norwood said.

The opportunity isn’t just for the financially motivated. Anyone who wants a gown and is willing to volunteer is welcome.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Norwood said, “to help the community and to help the young lady that needs a dress.”

The dress donation event began Feb. 13 at the drop-off location of Chris Cleaners & Clothes Spa on Browns Bridge Road.

Chris Lowe, owner of the store, said the winter weather limited the number of dresses last weekend.

A second drop-off is set for this weekend. Lowe’s hoping to receive about 15 to 20 more gowns, though people can drop off dresses any time before March 6.

Lowe said he got involved with his friend’s organization as another way to get involved locally.

He collected gowns and offered free dry cleaning, so he’s watched several different types of dresses come through.

“Lots of girls that are high school age have been nice enough to do it and then you’ve got moms coming in with stuff that their kids have not worn in eight years,” Lowe said. “It’s a wide variety.”

Narda Meeks, an owner of My Secret Closet, said the consignment shop selects only the most beautiful dresses in the best condition for the young recipients in Prom Angels.

On the shopping event days, store staff will help teens find the right dress and all the accessories to match, just like an experience at any major store or boutique.

A number of beautiful dresses grace the racks, but Meeks said the store could use more, particularly in plus sizes.

The store will extend the offer of a free dress for formal events in return for four hours of community service any time of the year.

Though the offer is open to anyone, Meeks said money is often a factor for those in search of gowns.

“We wanted to give these girls the opportunity to feel beautfiul and worthy, and they’re just as deserving as anybody else,” she said.

“Just because their parents don’t have the ability to pay $400 doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to feel beautiful and special on their prom day.”