OCL wraps up prom gown giveaway Saturday

OCL's four-month prom gown giveaway ends this Saturday.

OCL’s four-month prom gown giveaway ends this Saturday.

“Oh my God,” said Tiana Johnson-Sender, Manchester High School, when she walked into Ocean County Library’s Mancini Hall Thursday afternoon to select a gown for her high school prom.

“I can’t get over how many gowns there are,” she said. “I didn’t expect people to donate so much.”

The hall at the library’s Toms River branch had hundreds of gowns, shoes, handbags and accessories that it offered the teens for free.

“This is a great thing they’re doing here,” she said. “With the high prices of gowns it helps you out. For some girls it’s way too expensive to go to the prom.”

“Everyone from the library has been so nice,” said Christine Reeves. Her daughter Leanna, Pinelands Regional High School, was looking for just the right dress.

“Everyone has been helpful and supportive of the girls as they decide which gown to take,” said Christine, “and they are honest in their assessments.”

“I’d want people to be honest with me if I were choosing,” said Joanne Halloran, Teen Services librarian “If I feel it’s not flattering I’d like them to choose a better one. And sometimes a girl wants an opinion from someone other than Mom, so they ask me.”

Halloran greeted the teens and their mothers when they entered Mancini Hall and helped them wrap the gowns they selected.

This was the sixth year Ocean County Library hosted the prom gown giveaway.

This year’s gown collection began January 5th with a request to the public for donations of gently used, clean gowns and accessories. The public responded by donating more than 500 gowns and hundreds of pairs of shoes.

“The whole Young Adult team, about 20 people, worked together for months to make this happen,” said Halloran. “There was sorting and organizing to do. We distributed gowns to five branches and even those members of the YA team whose branches did not have a distribution point helped with setting up the racks and create fitting rooms in the other branches.”

The prom dress giveaway was started by Erin DeLucia at the Lakewood branch in 2010. Twenty-five gowns were distributed in that two-day event. DeLucia was the Lakewood branch’s Teen Librarian that year. She is now branch manager of the Berkeley branch and was recognized as this year’s Librarian of the Year.

This year the gowns were distributed in five branches (Lakewood, Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, Barnegat and Toms River.)

Jeannie Collacott, Teen Service Coordinator, estimates more than 700 gowns will be distributed this year throughout the Ocean County Library system, free of charge, to the teens.

The distribution will conclude tomorrow, May 2, at the Toms River branch.

Stephanie Van Sickle, Brick Township High School, was looking for s sparkly and bright gown for her prom.

Stephanie Van Sickle, Brick Township High School, was looking for a sparkly and bright gown for her prom.

Tiana Johnson-Sender, Manchester High School, said of the prom gown giveaway, “This is a great thing they’re doing here.” Her search was for a gown that was “not too puffy.”

Tiana Johnson-Sender, Manchester High School, said of the prom gown giveaway, “This is a great thing they’re doing here.” Her search was for a gown that was “not too puffy.”

Isabelle Concepcion (left) and Adriana Paratore (right) selected gowns for their homeschool formals.

Isabelle Concepcion (left) and Adriana Paratore (right) selected gowns for their homeschool formals.

Leanna Reeves, Pineland Regional High School, and her mom Christine Reeves were looking for a gown that was “flowy.”

Leanna Reeves, Pineland Regional High School, and her mom Christine Reeves were looking for a gown that was “flowy.”

Sisters Lauren Yabis and LaLaine Yabis, Toms River High School North, were searching for gowns for their prom. LaLaine wanted something long and elegant. Lauren was looking for a long, backless gown.

Sisters Lauren Yabis and LaLaine Yabis, Toms River High School North, were searching for gowns for their prom. LaLaine wanted something long and elegant. Lauren was looking for a long, backless gown.

Teen librarians Carolyn Aversano, Jackson, and Joanne Halloran, Toms River, were on hand to help teens choose the best prom gown.

Teen librarians Carolyn Aversano, Jackson, and Joanne Halloran, Toms River, were on hand to help teens choose the best prom gown.

sm_0029

You can never have too many shoes. Nearly 200 pairs were donated for the prom gown giveaways. Thank you for all the donations!

You can never have too many shoes! Nearly 200 pairs were donated for the prom gown giveaways. Thank you for all the donations! You have contributed to the dreams of several hundred teens in Ocean County.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “OCL wraps up prom gown giveaway Saturday”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: