Free gowns available from Assistance League of Santa Barbara
The Assistance League of Santa Barbara will be loaning prom dresses to local high school students free of charge.
All sizes are available, and they can be altered to fit.
“The dresses are donated by the community to our Thrift Shop all year long. Some come from UCSB sororities, some from National Charity League members. Others are dresses that were bought for some reason or another, but were never worn,” said Joanne Thompson, chair of the league’s Prom Dress Boutique committee. “Many of our dresses still have new tags.”
The Prom Dress Boutique is located in the back building of the Assistance League at 1259 Veronica Springs Road, Santa Barbara. The boutique will be open from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays from April 2 to May 7, omitting April 16 due to the Easter weekend.
School ID is required. The gowns must be returned to the Assistance League two weeks after the event. They will then be taken to be cleaned at Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners & Tailors.
The following high schools have been notified about the Prom Dress Boutique: San Marcos, Dos Pueblos, Santa Ynez, Bishop Garcia Diego, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria. All except San Marcos will have proms in May. San Marcos will have its prom in April.
“The Prom Dress Boutique committee is working hard to display more than 600 dresses in preparation, since all local high schools will have proms this year,” said Ms. Thompson.
Committee members are Diane Alexander, Jeri Beck, Cindy Becker, Doris Blethrow, Maureen Braun, Sandy Charon, Susan Engles, Pat Flores, Deborah Geremia, Shannon Goodenough, Alison Hedge, Jan Inouye, Bonnie Johnson, Janet Kelleway, Sue Kreisler, Mary Lopez, Judith Matson, Linda Metelka, Sharon Pipes, Jennifer Purdy, Martha Rogers, Patti Shaw, Barbara Smith, Sue Steele, Melanie Szymanski, Toni Topinko and Doris Webb.
“The women take turns helping the students who come in for dresses. They help by taking the chosen dresses off the racks, hanging them up in a dressing room and hanging up the ones they don’t want afterward. They will bring additional gowns to the dressing rooms and suggest accessories such as necklaces, purses and even shoes, all of which are also on loan from our boutique,” said Ms. Thompson.
“Most girls select long gowns. They love to dress up, selecting elegant, formal gowns. Most select bright colors rather than black. This is my first year heading up the philanthropy, so I will take note of popular colors and styles this year to do a better job next year.
“I have had representatives from Dos Pueblos and San Marcos news broadcasts come in to film, so we are getting good publicity. Of the nine girls that have filmed, five took home prom dresses, and two are returning their purchased gowns, stating that our dresses are better!”