Queen of the Prom
$10 dresses at the Holiday Inn
From the March, 2017 issue
"The dresses are pretty themselves, but when the girls put them on, it's just like a Cinderella story!" exclaims Janice Wery. Thanks to Wery, close to 300 gently worn prom gowns will be on sale on March 12 at the Holiday Inn on Plymouth Road, noon to 4 p.m. While new ones often start at $100, the donated gowns run from $10 to $25. Many have been worn only once, and Wery lovingly washes and irons them before they go on sale. The retired nurse midwife donates all the funds raised to a nonprofit--this year, Ozone House.
Wery started the project five years ago. Volunteering at the Ann Arbor Thrift Shop, she noticed that prom dresses often didn't sell, because girls didn't think to look there. Deciding that "there needed to be a special time and a special place for the girls to see all the dresses," she started soliciting donations through flyers and a website (promdressproject.wordpress.com).
"A dress that one girl wouldn't try on, another girl will look lovely in," says Wery. "The dresses are as unique as the girls. You just have to have a variety"--including every size from 0-20.
Affordability is important to Wery--her own long-ago prom cost as much as her father earned in a day. But she stresses that the sale is open to all: "My goal is to have a dress for every girl who wants one."
[Originally published in March, 2017.]
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