Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
All Dolled Up offers free formal wear
All Dolled Up gives away formal wear thanks to community donations
Mar. 1, 2023 12:15 am
WINFIELD — As high school students begin to look toward prom, the charitable organization All Dolled Up prepares to help these students feel their best in dresses, tuxedos, and accessories that make the night as special as they are.
For the 12th year, Jenny Unternahrer prepares for prom season with All Dolled Up.
“Every student should have the opportunity to attend prom regardless of their personal or financial background,” Unternahrer described the organization. “All Dolled Up offers, for FREE, a nice selection of formal dresses in every color and size, even featuring designer labels! There is also a variety of fancy shoes and jewelry to choose from, too.”
According to Unternahrer, thanks to a large donation, All Dolled Up now offers tuxedos as of 2022.
Students from WACO High School and surrounding communities are encouraged to utilize this service.
“I was seeing the Facebook garage sale sites with all of the prom dresses for sale,” Unternahrer said. “They were used and still $300-$400+. I was working as a substitute associate at WACO High School at the time and wondering if some of the girls could afford to get these gowns, even at used prices.”
With is realization, Unternahrer felt compelled to try to do something, so, she took to Facebook and asked for gown donations on her personal page.
“Hoping to get enough gowns to share with others, I ended up with about 45 the first year,” she recalled. “I kept them in a bedroom basement and hauled them to the school for girls to check out returning them to my basement bedroom when I was done.”
“An offer from the lady that ran the youth center in town for a closet space gave me more room and a better place to hold the giveaway events,” Unternahrer said. “When that building sold a couple years ago my church was gracious enough to give me space to store them and hold the events.”
Before moving to the Mennonite Church, All Dolled Up only provided gowns for prom.
“I received a large donation of shorter homecoming style gowns,” Unternahrer said. “The move to Wayland Mennonite Church gave me a larger space for storing those. Had I been at the youth center I would have had to turn down the donation. Everything worked out so well! I added a homecoming giveaway event.”
According to Unternahrer, donations are critical to continuing this give away event.
Donations come from “Locals or connections with locals,” she said. “I also get girls who went to prom re-donate their gowns for other girls to use. I had one gown come back the next and go out again right after donated.”
All Dolled Up takes donations of shoes, jewelry, gowns (short or long) and nice suits or tuxedos.
“My greatest need right now is for the gals size 14 and up,” Unternahrer said.
To make donations, reach out to Unternahrer via the All Dolled Up for Prom Facebook page.
While meeting in Wayland is easiest, Unternahrer will happily connect donations with people to retrieve them from surrounding areas, as well.
“This event wouldn’t be possible without the donations,” she said.
The next events to give away prom dresses and tuxedos will occur Saturday March 4 and 25 from 9-11 a.m. at the Wayland Mennonite Church.