WAVERLY – Nowadays, getting clothing at a cheap price is a bragging point. For Waverly High School students, they can brag about the beautiful, free prom dress they picked out from Waverly’s first prom closet.
The prom closet will have three separate dates up until the May 1 prom, WHS Paraprofessional Sherri Pierce said. The dresses, shoes and jewelry will be spread out in the commons area at the high school on April 10 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., April 16 from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. and April 17 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Pierce said if none of the dates fit into a student’s schedule, then she would be able to set up another time to look through the dresses prior to upperclassman prom. Last year, District 145 Foundation Community Closet had several dresses donated, but when the pandemic struck prom was cancelled and the dresses were no longer of use.
The 37 dresses from the Community Closet have been combined with about 27 dresses that have been donated so far by members of the community and WHS alumni. Pierce said she is still receiving dresses and can see having upwards of 70 pieces for students to choose from in sizes zero to 20.
“They’re donated and so we’re basically donating them back to people who can use them,” Pierce said.
Waverly’s Dana Jackson will be donating jewelry to the prom closet through the company Paparazzi so students can select free necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other accessories to go with their dresses. Shoes that were donated through the Community Closet will also be on display.
Pierce said she hopes the prom closet will inspire a chain reaction of donating prom dresses so that next year they are able to offer the opportunity again with more variety of dresses and sizes.
“Maybe it’ll kind of start a chain,” she said. “Like, ‘Hey I used this donated dress or I want to give someone else an opportunity to wear these cool dresses I wore in high school.’”
Pierce will continue to accept dresses and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She said she appreciates the community’s generosity.
“I can’t believe how many people are donating,” Pierce said. “That’s a really ‘come together’ moment especially after last year when they didn’t get to have prom.”