Last Updated: Jan 8th, 2015 - 07:42:25

Say yes to the prom dress
By Sarah Steele Wilson, Newsroom Editor
Feb 11, 2013, 11:34

photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Social Services Director Shel Douglas displays one of the dresses her department has already received.

Area residents who have old prom dresses or gowns from other formal occasions taking up their space in their closets might want to use them to help create a magical night for someone else.

“I know that there are a lot of kids in the county, just like everywhere, who would like to go to the prom, but just can’t afford it,” said Prince George County Administrator Percy Ashcraft, describing an initiative that’s off the ground in the county.

Staff from the Department of Social Services are collecting donated dresses, accessories and shoes for Prince George County High School students to wear on the big night.

According to a VISA survey, the average American prom experience cost more than $1,000 last year, a figure donated dresses, shoes and accessories can help diminish.

“We’re hoping this will be a new, fun initiative that gets every girl an opportunity to go to the prom,” said Shel Bolyard-Douglas.

She hopes that the small collection of fancy dresses hanging in the halls of the social service department will grow before the county hosts its own twist on the on the television show “Say Yes to the Dress.”

The event will take place on March 23.

“We’re going to request a five dollar donation for admission and then we have some students from Virginia State who are going to be our personal shoppers for the day and help girls see if they can find something from what they have donated,” Bolyard-Douglas said.

Ashcraft said that he knows from his own family’s experience that formal dresses are frequently worn once or twice, before they end up collecting dust in the closet.

“This is really something that can help somebody,” he said of the alternative of donating dresses and accessories.

Donations can be dropped off the the Prince George County Department of Social Services office, located at 6450 Administration Drive in the County Complex.

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