A fitting choice: Club offers gently worn prom dresses

By Amanda C. Davis

There’s still time to drop off dresses for another sale planned in March.

COLUMBIANA — Talia DiRocco and her mom, Gretchen, are thinking toward the future instead of the immediate gratification they might get from plunking down a small fortune on a prom dress.

The two shopped Saturday at a gently worn gown sale sponsored by Columbiana Women’s Club, 121 N. Main St. The Gowns Galore event continues from 1 to 5 p.m. today.

Talia, a senior at South Range High School, took pictures of dresses on her phone to show a friend but didn’t find one for herself. Her mom said the petite girl didn’t find anything in her size and is pretty particular when it comes to what she wears.

The girl wants to major in English and is looking at Ashland University and Wooster College. Her mom said that though prom is an important event, the cost of higher education is a bigger priority for their family right now.

Even though they didn’t find anything Saturday, the DiRoccos said they still plan to hunt for a bargain and can take advantage of the club’s second gown sale in March.

Janet Tatman is a member of the women’s club and the committee that planned the first gown event. She said many young girls and their parents can’t justify spending a few hundred dollars on a dress they’ll wear once, especially in this economy.

“We wanted to do this as a service for the young people,” she said, explaining that the sale is not a money-making event for the organization.

About 50 dresses were offered during the cash-only sale Saturday, priced at $15, $25 or $45. The club keeps $5 for each dress sold, and the rest of the money goes to the original owner.

Tatman said 11 area schools were contacted to let students know about the gown sale. The club hopes the sale will become an annual event that grows through the years.

Krista Hornberger and her mom, Laurie, of Ellsworth were happy to walk away with a $45 “steal” on an orange dress.

The Western Reserve High School senior said she’s not used to wearing such bright colors but liked the way the floor-length gown with a halter neckline looked on her.

The two agreed that spending a lot of money on a dress didn’t make sense and that the women’s club event offered a perfect alternative for local shoppers.

Because of bad weather, two more dates have been added in March, so there is still time to donate a prom or homecoming dress, Tatman said.

The sale will continue from 1 to 5 p.m. March 20 and 21. The Lazy Bean Caf , 157 S. Main St., will accept gently worn gowns from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through March 13.

There are two options for people who want to pick up unsold dresses or money for dresses that do sell. These items can be claimed at the women’s club at 5 p.m. March 21 or at the club’s Next to New Shop, on the lower level, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays through March 27. Dresses that are not sold or picked up will be donated to charity.

Columbiana Women’s Club is a Queen Anne-style residence built in the last year of the 19th century. The stately 10-room structure is used as a meeting place for area clubs that are affiliated with the group. Individuals and organizations also can rent the house for meetings, showers, parties, receptions, dinners and other gatherings.

Anyone with questions about the organization or the gown sale can call (330) 482-2832.

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