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Student organizes prom dress exchange

March 04, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- A Waynesboro Area Senior High School student is trying to single-handedly put an end to two long-standing problems with prom dresses -- they're costly and they're only worn once.

Christina Sanders, 17, started collecting used dresses from classmates and teachers in the fall. Soon, she will distribute them to girls getting ready for the May 9 prom at the high school.

"I hope the (donors) realize they can help other girls have a prom or homecoming like they did," Christina said.

Christina especially hopes to give the dresses to students who might otherwise not be able to afford them. Prom dresses often cost students and their parents more than $100.

Christina developed the dress exchange as part of her required school graduation project, and she wants to highlight the financial aspect in her eight- to 15-minute speech this month.

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"These types of opportunities don't come around too often," she said.

Her mother, Sherry Sanders, emphasized that dress donation is an excellent way to clean out a closet.

Christina first considered a dress exchange two years ago, after seeing a similar program featured on television. The senior ended up with "dresses galore" when she put up posters last fall.

Twenty-five dresses in a variety of sizes and styles found a temporary home at Sanders' house. If some remain after prom, Christina plans to donate them to a thrift store in time for teenagers to find homecoming dresses next fall. Her intention, though, is to distribute all the dresses in coming weeks.

"I'd like (girls who need them) to approach me," she said.

Christina went to the prom last year with a group of friends and noticed that long dresses with flared bottoms seemed popular. She takes note of popular trends but doesn't worry about them too much.

"I have my own style, I think, and that works for me," she said.

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