Prom Dress Drive Collects More Than 600 Dresses

April 27, 2011 Updated Oct 12, 2013 at 11:26 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Prom Dress Drive Collects More Than 600 Dresses

April 27, 2011 Updated Oct 12, 2013 at 11:26 PM EDT

(Hamburg, NY) – ( release ) Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon (District 12) thanked the community for supporting her 2nd annual Prom Dress Drive during a press event held Wednesday, April 27 at Urban Valet Dry Cleaners in the Village of Hamburg. Amazingly, more than 600 beautiful dresses were collected. Legislator Dixon was joined by Eric Pyne, owner of Urban Valet Dry Cleaners and Pam Lafferty from the Hamburg Library, who talked about the importance of this drive.

“Last year the Prom Dress Drive collected 400 dresses and early on I knew we would surpass that total this year but I never imagined we would have 600 dresses. During Friday and Saturday’s Free Shopping Days, when girls from across Erie County walk into that room they will have hundreds of styles, colors and sizes to select from,” said Legislator Dixon. “I am so proud to represent the great people of District 12 and am grateful to them for making the effort. I can’t thank the community enough for supporting this event and giving local teens a chance to go to their prom in a beautiful gown.”

The collection drive was held for two weeks with more dresses coming in each and every day. Legislator Dixon thanked the Boston, Hamburg, Lake Shore and North Collins libraries; Evans Town Hall, Eden Boys and Girls Club and Urban Valet Dry Cleaners for opening their doors and operating as donation sites. In addition, Urban Valet Dry Cleaners cleaned each and every dress for free, making sure they were ready for the big night.

“Again this year the response has been overwhelming. Legislator Dixon or one of her staff members seem to be here almost every single day filling up our laundry carts. As of Monday we had done just under 500, and they are still coming in. Urban Valet is really pleased to be a part of this successful community based reuse effort. It's just a great thing,” said Eric Pyne, owner of Urban Valet.

Urban Valet will deliver the dresses on garment racks making it easy for girls to browse through the dresses. This year’s Free Shopping Days will be held 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 29, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Eden Sr./Jr. High School Cafeteria, 3150 Schoolview Road, Eden.

Legislator Dixon recognized the need for a Prom Dress Drive in the area last year. Similar drives are held in the city and Northtowns but this was one of the first drives to respond directly to the needs in the Southtowns. With the rising cost of gasoline, food and other necessities it is difficult for some families to buy extras, such as expensive prom dresses, Legislator Dixon said, adding that she wanted to provide an opportunity for girls to get a dress without the excessive cost. Legislator Dixon thanked Debbie Popple, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Eden, for her continuous support of the Prom Dress Drive and for her work with area youth.

“Through the Club and personal relationships, I am hearing about the difficulties parents are having in providing their daughter an opportunity to participate in her upcoming prom with the cost of the prom dress. I think that with the current economy, families are making choices on how to best use their financial resources and with that, the prom dress is pushed to the side. I believe this Prom Dress Drive takes the financial stress off the family while giving young girls the opportunity to make the memories associated with trying on different dress styles and choosing just the right dress. Last year, I had the opportunity to talk with many moms and daughters and know how thankful they were for this opportunity,” Popple said.

The Prom Dress Drive Free Shopping Days are open to high schools girls in Erie County. Attendees are asked to take one dress per teen.

For additional information, please contact Legislator Dixon’s Legislative Office at (716) 649-2640 or email lynne.dixon@erie.gov.