Somewhere, hidden in the depths of a mostly ignored closet, is The Dress.
Maybe you’ve tried to forget it, but it stares at you from the photo hanging prominently in your friend’s home every time you visit. The puffy-sleeved, tulle frock that made you look like a bloated Grinch in heels, a dress that cost more than the cruise you originally were saving that money for.
“But you’ll be able to wear it again,” your friend promised.
Maybe at Halloween?
Actually, your friend ended up being right.
The Bridesmaids Ball, benefiting the Midlands Cinderella Project, is an opportunity to wear those dresses you donned as a bridesmaid. It’s set for Friday, Feb. 10.
Some will wear gorgeous dresses that cost too much but are svelte and lovely. Some will wear the what-was-she-thinking styles.
“It’s an opportunity to get dressed up in that dress that you’ll never wear again,” said Kara Bailey, a lawyer at Rogers Townsend & Thomas, which is holding the fundraiser. “Why not get dressed up and support a great cause?”
The cause is the Cinderella Project, which this year celebrates its 16th year of providing dresses to high school girls who lack the financial resources to buy a gown and participate in their proms.
Sponsored by the South Carolina Bar, the Cinderella Project will have a boutique on Saturday, March 18, where girls can come and select a dress and accessories.
“The Cinderella Project is really unique because it provides an opportunity for high school students to experience the all-important prom moments without the expensive burden of buying a dress, shoes, and accessories,” said Erica Lybrand, who is chairing the event, adding it’s the Sweet 16 of the Midlands Cinderella Project.
“The Cinderella Project gives the students the opportunity to feel beautiful and have fun while alleviating the worry that their parent or guardian may be going through in trying to bankroll the experience,” Lybrand said. “We get the most thanks from the parents who tear up seeing their child dressed up and smiling in a beautiful gown that they will get to take home for free.”
At the Bridesmaids Ball, participants can donate gently used dresses (the nice ones, not the Halloween costumes) or cash, which will be turned into store gift cards for girls who can’t find their sizes at the boutique.
“Our goal is to serve every girl,” Bailey said.
There will be opportunities for those attending the Bridesmaids Ball to take photographs, as well as enjoy an open beer and wine bar as well as heavy hors d’oeuvres.
Fundraisers like the Bridesmaids Ball are vital to the success of the Cinderella Project, Lybrand said.
“They allow us to provide more for the students: More dresses, more experiences, and more goodies like gift cards and other door prizes,” she said.
If you go
WHEN: 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10
WHERE: Rogers Townsend & Thomas, 1221 Main St., 14th floor
COST: $40 per person or $60 per couple