For Third Year, BMS Eighth Graders Hosting Free Dress Boutique; a One-Stop Shop for Winter Formal Dance

By Julie Perine on November 29, 2017 via

It's the third year for Bridgeport Middle School's free dress boutique and the concept continues to work like a charm. 
“We are collecting dresses of any size and style – and shoes also - for our winter formal dance, which is Dec. 13,” said Lauren Johnston, organizer. “Then girls can sign up and make an appointment to come try them on.”
As an underclassman, Johnston knew about the program and she is happy - as an eighth grader - to be one of this year's facilitators.
“(Some upperclassmen) talked to me last year about it and asked if I wanted to do it this year,” she said. “I asked some of my friends if they wanted to help with it.”
She and her fellow organizers spend time before school and after classes to sort and display dresses. And it’s well worth the time and effort.
“I just think it’s a good thing to help kids who can’t afford dresses for the dance,” she said.
The project has been handed down through the eighth grade classes. This year, Johnston, Emily Miller, Maci Cook and Gracie Courtney and are taking the lead. 
The winter dress-up dance is an important event for students; one Miller said no one should miss.
“We get to hang out with friends,” she said. “I get to see some of my friends I don’t get to see throughout the day and sing, dance and just have fun with everybody.”
The idea started back in 2015 as students and community members brought in gently-used party-style dresses, approprite for middle school students. Shoes and accessories followed; providing a venue where students could come discretely "shop" for attire to be worn at the school's winter formal dance. 
Members of the community are invited to help with the project by bringing in gently-used, age-appropriate dresses, shoes and accessories. The items can be dropped off at BMS during school hours 7:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m.
Everything stays confidential and girls donating items agree not to point out those items if seen at the dance. This effort is for the sole purpose of making sure every girl in the school has an outfit she loves and feels good in for the dance.
Two years ago, former BMS Principal Carole Crawford made a suggestion about hosting a dress closet and some of her eighth grade students ran with the idea, immediately putting it into motion.
The girls said they are super excited to do this project and hope that everyone utilizes the dress boutique to find the perfect dress to wear to this year’s dance.

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