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Prom dress sale organizer: No one who wants to go should be left out

A photo of the used dress sale at Glenbard East High School last year. (Photo provided by Dawn Zatt)

A photo of the used dress sale at Glenbard East High School last year. (Photo provided by Dawn Zatt)

Dawn Zatt knows the toll a trip to prom can take on a family’s budget.

The Glenbard East High School career adviser’s twin daughters graduated from the school in 2007, and she has another child who’s a junior at the school now.

“A lot of kids really struggle to go to prom because it’s expensive,” Zatt said, pointing to costs for transportation, a ticket to the event and post-dance activities.

For that reason, Zatt and other members of the school’s Post-Prom Committee are holding for the second year in a row a prom dress sale. On March 9 and 10, teen girls from the area are invited to come to the Lombard school to look through dozens of donated and gently used dresses all on sale for no more than $25.

Last year, more than 20 girls found a dress at the sale, Zatt said, though more than 40 showed up to shop.

“We just want everybody who wants to go to be able to go (to prom),” Zatt said.

Glenbard East High School’s low income population is highest among the four high schools in Glenbard Township High School District 87, with 34.9 percent of its students qualifying for free or reduced lunches or receiving public aid. At the district’s three other schools, that number ranges from 18.4 percent to 22.3 percent, according to data from the state board of education.

The Pos-t-Prom Committee piloted the first used dress sale at the school last year, soliciting donations of dresses at football and basketball games and from any community members whose daughters’ dresses were hanging idly in a closet. Dozens of dresses came in.

“Very few people brought me one dress,” Zatt said. “They were bringing them in and saying ‘here is everything I had from my kid when they were in high school.’”

While the sale is targeted for high school students, anyone who needs a beautiful dressis welcome to shop, Zatt said.

The sale will begin 6 p.m. Friday and will also open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the school, 1014 S. Main St. in Lombard.

Donations of dresses will be accepted until the sale begins, Zatt said. Dresses can be dropped off at the school.

Money raised from the sale will benefit post-prom activities.

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