VACAVILLE — Promgoers in need of a dress had plenty of options at the NorthBay Guild’s Thriftique, where gowns of every size and color took over the shop’s racks, Sunday.
The guild partnered with Soroptimist International of Vacaville to give high school girls a chance to have the perfect prom. Attendees got to peruse an estimated 200 dresses that were donated by businesses and the community.
Dixon High freshman Shelby Crouch, 14, arrived at Secondhand Rose with a specific color in mind – royal blue.
“I laid my eyes upon two different dresses . . . I tried them on and fell in love with one dress, and I knew it was the one.”
Her gown featured “beautiful bead work” around an empire waistline. She also got a pair of silver strappy shoes, makeup and jewelry – all for free.
“It was a nice experience,” she said.
About 35 girls made reservations for the event that included makeup artists and a photo shoot atop a podium. Diane Barney, NorthBay Healthcare’s director of public relations, said business sponsorships helped to provide the girls dinners, manicures, corsages – “all the things it takes to go to prom that these girls can’t afford,” she said.
Growing up, Kathie Thoming was one of those girls.
“I actually wouldn’t have been able to go to prom,” she said. “. . . (But) I was able to make my own dress . . .”
Thoming was inspired to organize Sunday’s event after hearing that others in the community – a foster child and a single mother – simply couldn’t buy a dress.
“(Those were) heart-wrenching stories that I remember,” she said.
Thoming also had amassed a collection of her daughter’s unwanted prom and bridesmaid dresses and wanted to give them to a good home. She decided to collect more and start a giveaway that targeted girls who would not be able to go to prom.
“From there, it just took off,” she said.
Soroptimist President Sandy Esparza said the giveaway was right up their alley.
“(We’re) about improving the lives of girls, and what could be better than helping girls with prom,” she said. “I’m really thrilled.”
Secondhand Rose – NorthBay Guild Thriftique is located at 322 Parker St. in Vacaville. Proceeds benefit NorthBay Healthcare and other local organizations.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.