Pick out a prom dress for free

  • A Greenfield High School student and student adviser in dresses as part of the prom dress drive that will run March 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Recorder Staff photos/Joshua Solomon

  • Photos of Greenfield High School students in dresses and suits a part of the prom dress drive that will run March 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon

Recorder Staff
Thursday, March 01, 2018

GREENFIELD — Having been in a handful of weddings Karin Patenaude had a number of bridal dresses that had been hanging in her closet, unlikely to be worn again.

The Greenfield High School principal realized she finally had a good place for those dresses: the school’s prom dress drive.

“We’ve all been a bridesmaid at one point or have a prom dress that we’ve held onto and has miraculously come back in fashion,” Patenaude said.

The prom dress drive began four years ago, following the suggestion and direction by former Student Council member Claire Abelson who had heard about a classmate who said they wouldn’t go to prom because they couldn’t afford a dress. Since then, the dress drive has helped many students in Greenfield and beyond find something special to wear for free to an upcoming dance or event.

This year the drive will boast nearly 150 dresses, which will be up for grabs this Saturday, March 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Greenfield High School. The drive is open to anyone in the county and gives students a chance to take home dresses (or suits) to use for the upcoming prom season.

“Now that we have all of these new dresses, we’d love for people to take them and have a wonderful evening with them,” Student Council adviser Angela Mass said.

Helping to lead this year’s Student Council prom dress drive is Maddy Cady, 17, who said the biggest challenge this year has been because they’ve had so many dresses.

Recently they picked up 60 dresses that were brought to Andy’s & The Oak Shoppe, one location where clothing had been collected this year. “That was just so amazing. We didn’t really know what to say,” Cady said.

Cady and her peers needed to figure out where to get more dress racks so that they could display these additional dresses.

The Student Council members were able to sort that out before a sneak peak event Friday night for Greenfield High School students and Saturday’s event.

“A lot of people come and when a girl finds a dress that they really like and they try it on. You can tell, their face lights up,” Cady said. “They’re so excited that they found a dress that they really enjoy and like themselves in.”

Cady, a junior, recommends people come to the high school and at least check out the selection and try on dresses, even if they’re not sure whether they will end up taking the dress. She pointed out it can help you figure out what style you might like or what you had never considered before.

“It’s just really sweet. The kids are so excited,” Patenaude said. “It’s almost like a mini-fashion show happening. Really. They’re saying ‘come with me when I try this one on.’”

The drive also has menswear, like suit jackets, but Mass said they’re in search of men’s dress shoes more than anything else. Additionally, they’re looking for spring dresses, which can be worn to a more casual, but still dressy event.

“What a great idea to give back to others and have the dress worn more than once,” Patenaude said. “Everyone is so excited because they’re so excited someone else could use it. It’s a good sense of community.”