LIMA — Alexis Thompson and Jenna Ridenour snagged a couple of prom dresses Saturday at the Kiwanis Club of Lima’s annual Diva’s Den dress giveaway.
The Kiwanis Club of Lima has been doing this for more than seven years.
For many girls, getting a free dress is something that will help them afford to go to prom.
“It’s like my first time. I’ve never heard of this place,” said Thompson. “They was like, ‘Oh, you should give it a try,’ and well, I got put into a foster home so we don’t really have the money for big dresses.”
“I’m getting this one because a lot of families can’t afford dresses. So it’s a good, good cause,” said Ridenour.
The Kiwanis Club of Lima had more than 300 dresses available.
“It brings me so much joy,” said Bev Beery, Kiwanis club member. “These girls come in so excited about going to a Night to Shine or to prom at their school and to help them try on the dresses and find the perfect dress for them. I used to go with my granddaughter when she was younger to prom and dresses are 6, 7, 8 hundred dollars. They wear it one night for maybe five, six hours and then they’re done. When I know we can give these girls free dresses, and they’re not just hanging in somebody’s closet, that gives me so much joy when they walk out of here with big smiles on their face — and the parents are really smiling because they got a free dress.”
Duffy’s Cleaners takes in the dresses during the year and cleans them free of charge and makes them available to be used again.
“First of all, it recycles dresses that have only been worn one time. So that’s a good thing and, secondly, I think the girls have something better to do — like pay for their college education, put that toward college or they can use the money to buy jewelry for the dress. So it just I think it just financially helps the families,” said Candace Newland, Kiwanis Club member.
Despite the icy weather Saturday morning, the girls and their parents came out.
“It’s Ohio, and it’s winter. People are used to this. It’s not a big deal,” Newland added. “We just hope that all the girls find a really special dress and we’re excited to do this for the community.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.