By Kristy Deer | Daily Reporter
NEW PALESTINE — When she sees the heaps of colorful material — tulle and lace, silk and satin — Wendy Parish is always left speechless.
This year is no exception, she said, by the looks of the numerous formal-wear donations for this year’s wedding and prom dress fundraiser.
Parish of New Palestine, said donors came through again; many residents donated new and gently used dresses, and Peaches Boutique in Chicago, donated 150 brand new prom dresses and accessories.
They will be on sale for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis at the 10th annual dress fundraiser at Doe Creek Middle School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. This year’s proceeds benefit Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and the school.
Parish made the six-hour round trip to Peaches, filling her van full of boxes holding the new dresses, ensuring patrons would have plenty of selection.
Peaches — which learned about the event from Parish a few years ago when she was shopipng — and many people in the community have been making their donations for several weeks.
The wedding and prom dress fundraiser allows patrons to get a formal dress for a suggested donation of $10 to $25 rather than retail price.
Parish said cost should not keep anyone from attending the event. Organizers will not turn away ladies or girls needing a formal dress or wedding gown just because they’re short on cash.
The event is not about making a lot of money, Parish said.
“Sometimes it’s about the receiving,” she said. “But, if people are able to give a few bucks, it’s for a good cause, so we appreciate it.”
Retail prices for new prom dresses and wedding gowns can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, and Parish said she thought it was silly for families to spend that kind of money for a dress most people will wear only once or twice.
Organizers are excited, they said, to offer so many new wedding and prom dresses for area women and teens looking to get a new dress for upcoming events at a reasonable cost.
Parish started the dress sale 10 years ago in her hair salon, Studio 52, as a way to help young teens get a gently used prom dress or wedding gown at an affordable cost.
“There is nothing like seeing smiles come over these girl’s faces when they find a dress at a great price,” Parish said. “There is just nothing like it.”
The event grew so big though the years that Parish eventually moved it to the middle school, where she has partnered with office staff to raise funds for various charities and the school the past three years.
Parish has been working with Robin Pratt and Kerry Taylor to organize and pull off the event.
The women will decorate the school hallways and cafeteria, turning them into a dress shopping event area complete with vendors and a bake sale.
The event is open to anyone and often attracts people from all over the state. Even if ladies and girls don’t need a dress, people can stop by to see dresses and take part in the fun, Parish said.
If you go
10th annual prom and wedding dress fundraiser
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Doe Creek Middle School, 5613 W. CR 200S, New Palestine
For: Riley Hospital for Children and Doe Creek Middle School
Cost: $10-$25 donations are suggested