Five years ago, a handful of women from Apex Methodist Church decided to hold an event that would help make proms more affordable for girls throughout the area.
That first year, the group had less than 100 prom dresses and struggled to attract much attention.
Things have a changed a lot since then.
The fifth annual Prom Shoppe will be held Friday, March 15 from 3-8:30 p.m. at Peak United Methodist Church on North Salem Street in Apex.
The fast-growing ministry will have nearly 500 dresses in numerous sizes, colors and styles to give away. Shoes, jewelry, make- up and other accessories will also be available at no charge.
Organizer Sidney Froom began the ministry after realizing so many families in need were having a difficult time affording prom dresses, especially with the struggles of the national economy.
Although Froom thought the ministry had some potential for growth, she is amazed at the popularity of the event. Teens from throughout the Triangle, and as far away as Goldsboro, have made the trip to Apex in search of a perfect dress.
Few, if any, have been disappointed with their experience.
“This has been an answer to many of our prayers,” said Froom. “We get so much enjoyment watching these beautiful young ladies choose a dress. Their eyes light up when they realize this will be their dress. Tears form in their eyes.”
Many tears have also formed in the eyes of volunteers. Several girls suffering from serious illnesses chose dresses for a prom being held at Duke Children’s Hospital.
“It has been such a wonderful experience to help those girls,” said Froom. “It is a very moving time because some of these beautiful girls have terminal illnesses and are awaiting transplants.”
Minor dress alterations can be made during the event and a make-up consultant will also be present.
Donations are accepted year-round, and can be dropped off at Apex United Methodist Church office during business hours. Items should be like new and currently in style.