Wisconsin News

Prom dress drive will save girls cash, help community

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Prom can be one of the most memorable nights of a teen's life.

It can also be one of the most expensive.

That's why the YWCA of the Coulee Region's Orange Door store is collecting donations of new and gently used formal dresses to sell to girls at a much lower price than they'd find in a department store.

Holmen High School senior Terisa Phillips found the perfect dress for prom last year -- yellow and not too poufy.

"Actually, I was really lucky because it was the first dress that I tried on, and I was just trying it on for size. And it ended up being the one that I really wanted," said Terisa.

She didn't spend hundreds of dollars to get it.

She went to the Orange Door prom dress sale.

"It was nice just because I didn't have to spend $500 on a dress for prom. I wanted to be able to go and have fun and not have to worry about ripping a $500 dress," said Terisa.

In its third year, the Orange Door prom dress sale helps out two groups of teens.


All the money raised from the sale goes to YWCA Teen Services programs, where teens can learn leadership skills and get connected to mentors.

Plus, girls who don't want to or can't afford to spend big bucks on something they may only wear once can find a dress for between $5 and $50.

"It's giving girls an opportunity to wear a dress that maybe would just be collecting dust in your closet. And they can get it at an affordable price, where maybe they wouldn't be able to go to prom," said YWCA of the Coulee Region Teen Services Coordinator Tracie Stinson.

This year, Terisa is donating the yellow dress she wore to prom back to Orange Door. She's hoping another girl will think it's her perfect dress too.

"I think that'd be really cool. I think that'd be amazing, just to have that connection," said Terisa.

The YWCA is still collecting dresses for the sale, but they're also looking for donations of shoes, jewelry and purses too.

Anyone who would like to donate those items can drop them off at the YWCA of the Coulee Region offices at 3219 Commerce St. in La Crosse, located inside the Xcel Energy building.

The prom dress sale will be held Feb. 9–17 at the Orange Door, located at 729 S. Sixth St. in La Crosse.

The sale is also helping a group of local teens learn how to organize a fundraiser. It's being put on by the YWCA's Teen Lead program.

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