Prom season is fast approaching. That means teenage girls will be on the hunt for the perfect dress.
The cheerleading squad at Wheeling Jesuit University is holding a fundraiser that benefits the team, the owners of the dresses and some less fortunate teens.
The Prom Gown Resale event takes place this Saturday at Swint Hall in the Troy Theater on the campus of WJU. The cheerleaders have sent out the invite to several local high schools. The girls will show up on Saturday and shop till they drop or at least until they find the gown of their prom dreams.
“Probably the majority of the gowns have been worn one time,” according to Nora Snyder with WJU. “We estimate the majority of the gowns are 400-dollar and 500-dollar gowns.”
The gowns come from Wheeling Jesuit students, employees and members of the community. They’re all on consignment. The owners of the gowns set their own prices and receive 90 percent of the profits. The other 10 percent goes to the cheerleading squad.
The average cost of a gown on consignment is around $100 to $200. But Snyder says in some cases the teens can find a steal.
“We’ve had people bring them in, a gown that has been worn one time, and they’ll be like, ‘This is just taking up so much room in my closet. I’m just going to put a price of $50 dollars.’ So yes, you can find gowns that are priced very, very reasonable.”
The cheerleading squad will collect the gowns Friday and they’ll be ready for sale Saturday morning.
“We had 20-30 people lined up last year at 8:30am for the doors to open at 9,” according to Snyder.
Last year, the cheerleaders raised $1,200 for their squad.
But Snyder says one of the best parts of the fundraiser happens after the shopping is complete. The gowns that haven’t been purchased and have been donated to the resale are then given to a charity in Washington, PA.
“Young women who can’t afford a prom gown come in and shop at the Princess Project for their gown,” she said.
The Princess Project doesn’t charge a penny for the dresses. They are all free to girls who would otherwise have to miss their Jr/Sr. prom.