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Dresses for success? Resale event a big hit

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



Kayley Smetana left Saturday’s Lincoln-Way North Music Boosters Prom Resale a very happy shopper.

Her never-been-worn cornflower blue prom dress, donated to the fundraiser by J.C. Penney, cost her half of what she might have paid in the store.

“This is only my sophomore year, so it’s better not to spend too much money,” Smetana said. “I thought there was a really wide variety, and I’m really satisfied with the one I got.”

Her mom, Karen, liked the win-win of the whole situation.

“I think this is a fantastic idea,” Karen Smetana said. “Not only do we get a great deal, but the music department makes some (much-needed) money.”

Patty Sherman, chairwoman of the inaugural resale event, said approximately 280 prom and party dresses were brought in for resale as donations or on consignment. The organization gets 20 percent of consignment sales and 100 percent of donated item sales.

“We have an $800 dress on consignment for $300,” Sherman said. “That puts it in the range that a girl might be able to afford.”

Girls who wanted to save more green while going green could add a “gently used” pair of shoes, a purse or some jewelry to complete a party outfit.

More than a dozen vendors, offering everything from hairdo and makeup tips to tuxedo and limo rental, helped transform the school cafeteria into a boutique mall. The teachers’ lounge served as an oversized dressing room where girls modeled for a cheering audience of moms and volunteers. As an added boutique touch, Joanna Toppett, chairwoman of the Lincoln-Way North Madrigals, was on hand to give alteration tips for a perfect fit.

The event drew bargain shoppers from outside the Lincoln-Way area. Cathy Winer and her 15-year-old daughter, Lauren, came from Orland Park to take a look at what the event had to offer.

“We just thought we’d come out and see what it was all about,” Cathy Winer said. “We want to support the Music Boosters.”

The Winers’ support came in the amount of $150 for the purchase of a hot-pink dress Lauren plans to wear to her Sandburg High School prom next year.

Sherman said the proceeds from the sale will go to the general music fund to benefit the band and choir programs.

“If one girl got a dress that would have been out of reach for her otherwise, from my personal perspective … it was all worth it to me,” Sherman said. “It was a lot of fun, magical. Where else can you go for a bargain like this?”



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