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Prom Gown Event to Help Many in WNC
Prom Gown Event to Help Many in WNC
Posted on 03/24/2022
Spring marks an important time for many high schools around the country. Students are getting closer to prom and graduation. Prom is a milestone event that many look forward to for years. One Buncombe County Schools (BCS) parent has taken on a project to help young ladies in Western North Carolina find the perfect prom dress. By: Breanna Hensley
BCS Communications Dept.

Spring marks an important time for many high schools around the country. Students are getting closer to prom and graduation. Prom is a milestone event that many look forward to for years. One Buncombe County Schools (BCS) parent has taken on a project to help young ladies in Western North Carolina find the perfect prom dress.

“I was at a thrift store a couple months ago where I saw a dress that needed attention,” said Marsha Van Rijssen, an A.C. Reynolds High School (ACRHS) parent. “I purchased it for a dollar. I went home and did the needed repairs on the dress. Afterwards I thought this could be a wonderful thing to collect dresses, make the necessary repairs, and get them out to kids who maybe haven’t found the right one for them.”

Word spread quickly about what Marsha was doing, and many from the community stepped up to help.

“ACRHS has been collecting dresses,” said Ms. Van Rijssen. “Other supporting businesses include: Asheville Humane Society Thrift Store, WEE Trade Carolinas, ABCCM, and Skirts for a Cause. People have been excited to help collect or donate enough dresses for this cause. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly for someone to give a dress rather than throw it out.”

Marsha is excited to see young ladies find their dream prom dress. She says this will make the hard work worth it in the end.

“I think any girl knows how it feels to put on an outfit that makes them feel special,” she said. “Seeing her face light up as she has found the dress she is looking for will be a joyous occasion.”

Marsha hopes to continue the project at ACRHS, and she hopes other schools will be encouraged to try this as well.

“I want this to be a sustainable project,” she said. “I would like to bring it to other schools, and teach them what I learned. We’ll hopefully get a group of parent volunteers and teachers together to keep the project going.”

The prom gown giveaway is open to anyone in Western North Carolina. Marsha has over 250 dresses and pantsuits waiting to find the right girl. Seamstress will also be able to help make alterations for anyone.

Spring marks an important time for many high schools around the country. Students are getting closer to prom and graduation. Prom is a milestone event that many look forward to for years. One Buncombe County Schools (BCS) parent has taken on a project to help young ladies in Western North Carolina find the perfect prom dress. “We have lots of new prom dresses and jewelry available,” said Marsha. “Some items still have a price tag where someone once before paid $600-$800 for a dress. Students can come to the prom gown event and don’t have to pay for anything!”

The prom gowns will be given away for free on Saturday, March 26 at A.C. Reynolds High School. It’s located at 1 Rocket Drive, Asheville. Young ladies can “shop” any time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and walk-ins are welcome. If you would like to schedule a time please do so here.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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