Eagles Auxiliary Giving Away Hundreds of Prom Gowns

Ford City Eagles Auxiliary officers spend time organizing and cleaning nearly 400 prom dresses that will be given away on March 2. Pictured are Jill Davis, President (left), Brenda Sellers, Treasurer (right), and Ruth Jordan (kneeling) Conductor.

The Ford City Eagles Auxiliary is busy preparing 400 prom dresses for any teenage girl that needs one for the Spring prom.

Auxiliary President Jill Davis said the event will be held on Saturday, March 2 from 10AM until 4PM.

“We will hold it in the Eagles back room,” Davis said. “We will have them all on display by size. I’ve sent letters to the school districts. Anyone who can’t afford a dress can come and pick one. We also have a limited supply of shoes, jewelry, makeup and purses. We also have gift certificates for hair, nails, and flowers that have been donated by local businesses.”

Davis said they received a large amount of dresses that were donated from a similar project at Faith Community Christian Church in Moon Township.

Sue Cravener is part of another Eagles Auxiliary, but volunteered to help Ford City with their project.

“We did them the first year at the church and the second year at a low-income housing community center,” Cravener said. “Some of these dresses still have the price tag on them. They are between $600 and $800. Many of them are new. They were donated from the bridal shops in Moon Township. Others were donated from rental stores. We had eight dresses donated from the tuxedo store in the Pittsburgh Mills mall. When the Tarentum Eagles did it last year, there were also donations of dresses and shoes from a store in that area that was going out of business.”

Davis said that there were many individuals and businesses in Armstrong County that has also contributed for the event.

“Our community has really come forward and donated a ton of dresses too. Teresa Spencer runs our FaceBook page and we got a lot of donations because of that.”

Davis said that the Auxiliary will begin by having a “tea” and other activities throughout the day.

” We are going to serve them sandwiches, punch, munchies and Funky Monkey is donating donuts for that morning. Rosie from the Falcons is making cookies. Other auxiliary members will be making food. Deejay 7UP is going to provide entertainment while the girls try on their gowns.”

A local seamstress, Heidi Fickthorn, is bringing her sowing machine and donating her time to do minor alterations as needed. She will be at the event all day in case someone needs a quick hem.

Sue Cravener and Auxiliary volunteers worked several nights spot cleaning dresses and steam ironing them in preparation for the event on March 2.

Davis hopes the response will help them plan for another event in the future.

“We are going to try to make this a yearly event if we get the response from the girls who want to come and get dresses. ¬†We have all variety of sizes. Hopefully we can give a lot of dresses away that day. It is one of our projects for the Auxiliary this year.”

Because this is the first year it has been planned, Auxiliary members said they have no idea how many girls will come.

“We didn’t have a reservation requirement. It is just first-come, first-serve. When the dresses are gone, then that’s it. I’m sure we will have some dresses left over. We will just use them again for next year.”

Davis said that any leftover dresses will be stored at the Eagles.

“If someone needs one at the last minute, we will try to do what we can to help them.”

Davis said there are also two wedding dresses if there is a bride in the area that may need one, as well as a few “mother-of-the-bride” dresses.

“There may be someone bringing their daughter for a Prom dress and has another son or daughter ¬†getting married and needs a dress as well.” She said there are also several short formal dresses that could be used at other functions.

The Auxiliary said that, although it isn’t necessary, they would be open to receiving the dress back to be recycled for another year.

Cravener said that although some of the dresses are a few years old, they are still in style.

“If they are a couple years old, chances are that style is back in style this year. After a couple of years, the same style tends to come back.”

Sorry guys, but the Auxiliary said this event is only open to the girls.

“The tuxedos for the guys are not nearly as expensive as the dresses for girls. So we didn’t do anything for the guys.”

Davis also expressed appreciation by the Auxiliary to the Aires men for donating the space to hold the event.