Group collects prom dresses
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
A local effort is under way to give struggling families an opportunity to find a prom dress.
Operation Prom Dress has started locally. Those involved in are (left) Becky Gartner, Darlene Thompson, Kristie Hackley and Toni Harmdierks.
The formal high school dance is held in April, but it can be cost prohibitive for some to consider attending because of the cost of dresses and accessories that are typically used once and then hang in a closet.
This prompted Toni Harmdierks to start Operation Prom Dress. Helping her with this effort are Kristie Hackley, Darlene Thompson and Becky Gartner, who have all done their part to contribute dresses and accessories to the cause.
"There's no cost; just come and get a dress," Harmdierks said.
Harmdierks has historically collected and taken prom dresses to Sioux Falls for Operation Prom Dress there, but this year she opted to keep the dresses to help teens in Madison and the surrounding communities.
So far, the group has about 40 dresses plus a variety of nylons and leggings available. More dresses and accessories are welcome. The hope, Harmdierks said, is to have makeup, jewelry and shoes available.
"It gives low-income families an option so they don't have to worry about buying a dress," she said.
Other low-cost options for teens would include dresses at consignment shops like Unique Boutique, located on the west side of Madison.
Harmdierks said the current selection of dresses ranges in size from small to extra large with a mix of colors and styles.
Thompson said some mending and adjustments can be made to the dresses, and a couple of people have been lined up to fix hair and makeup on the day of prom.
Anyone interested in donating dresses should call Harmdierks at 270-9328; Hackley at 270-1443; Thompson at 480-0411; or Gartner at 772-2246. Those interested in making an appointment to try on a dress should call Harmdierks.
Dresses can also be dropped off with Harmdierks at TeeZers Monday through Wednesday afternoons.