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‘The community stepped up:’ Store backs out of supplying prom dresses one week before high school fashion show
east high prom fashion show
A local boutique and some Forsyth County residents lent old prom dresses to East Forsyth High for the school's first prom fashion show when the store originally supplying the dresses backed out a week before the show. Photo courtesy Mackenzie Ziegler.

As East Forsyth High School DECA students prepared to “strut their stuff” for the school’s first prom fashion show, marketing teacher Mackenzie Ziegler was told the store supplying dresses had backed out.

It was one week before the show, which was held Wednesday, Feb. 16. “It was definitely [a frenzy],” Ziegler said.

Thankfully, through the support of the community, they got the dresses they needed.

A local boutique and some Forsyth County residents lent old prom dresses so the show could go on.

Emma Barnard, a junior at East Forsyth and DECA event coordinator, said students reached out to older siblings, friends and other family members asking for dresses.

Emma’s mother, Angela Barnard, took to Facebook asking, promising to “take good care of” any dresses people could loan the school. The responses flooded her page.

“The community really stepped up,” Angela Barnard said. “Even people that were friends of friends offered to help; it was really sweet.”

People responded saying they had dresses in all different colors and sizes.

The DECA team at East Forsyth went from having “zero dresses … to having 18 … the next day.”

Story continues below.

east high prom fashion show
Emma Barnard, left, and Mackenzie Ziegler, right. Photo courtesy Kendall Parks
east high prom fashion show
Photo courtesy Kendall Parks

Meanwhile, Ziegler contacted Narda Ferris-Meeks, owner of My Secret Closet Consignment Boutique in Cumming.

“It was a blessing of a partnership that we didn’t even see coming when we started planning our show,” Ziegler said.

She said that Ferris-Meeks “graciously offered” to supply the DECA team with some prom dresses, showing “support for East [Forsyth].”

Because East Forsyth High School has only been open for a year, Ziegler stressed the importance of the community’s support.

“This is just one little piece of what [the community has] done throughout the school year,” Ziegler said. “Whether it’s showing up to the football games or basketball games, we’ve seen people celebrate the victories, but they’ve also stepped into places when … we need something.”

 “The whole point of our school is to be a community school, to support both our students as well as their families,” she said.

The group was able to get enough dresses for over 30 models to walk in the show and even have a costume change.

“And My Secret Closet is just amazing,” Emma Barnard said. “It was a really fun experience trying all the dresses on there.”

Story continues below.

east high prom fashion show
Photo courtesy Kendall Parks

With all the new dresses, the team has “different styles” to choose from.

 “We’ve got … some from the early ’90s and some from now,” Emma said, “and [the theme] is disco, so … the new dresses go with the theme.”

Ziegler, Emma and Angela said the situation was “stressful,” but everyone was excited for the show.

“I’m [able to] look at [the fashion show] as a student, and I’m just excited for everyone to feel the rush of walking on stage and just having fun,” Emma Barnard said.

Ziegler said she was excited to see the students be “confident in themselves as they strut their stuff on stage.”

For more information about My Secret Closet Consignment Boutique, visit them on Facebook. The boutique is at 1785 Pilgrim Mill Road.

east high prom fashion show
Photo courtesy Kendall Parks