New event donates dresses, tuxedos for prom


Molly Archer

Dresses donated by members of the Oxford community hang at the “Say Yes to the Dress — Prom Edition” event held at OHS on March 9.

Molly Archer, Staff Writer

Physical Education teacher Rose Hickey gathered 300 dresses for the “Say Yes to the Dress — Prom Edition” event in the girls’ fitness studio on March 9 to lend girls a prom dress if they may not have had one otherwise.

The event gave female students a chance to find their dresses for prom at no cost. Hickey, along with a few students, collected donated dresses from the community for the girls who attended the event to bring home with them.

“Every girl should have a chance to attend prom and look good,” Hickey said.

Students from Oxford, Lafayette, Water Valley, and Batesville high schools were invited to come to the OHS gym to find their dress, and according to Hickey, everyone who attended found what they were looking for.

“Hopefully this is going to allow more people to attend prom, and feel good about themselves,” Hickey said.

A few students such as junior Anna Larson helped Hickey with organizing all of the dresses and even volunteering to help with the event itself.

“I wasn’t expecting so much community support,” Larson said. “It grew much bigger than I originally thought it was going to be. We had tons of people offering to help in any way that they could.”

The girls were given a dress, shoes, and jewelry to wear, and according to Hickey, around 60 people attended and left with their new dress.

“I truly believe that next year and years to come, the event will grow even more,” Hickey said. “Oxford has so many kind and giving people. We are grateful to have such a wonderful community.”

Once it was time for the girls to pick their dress, they would look for which one they wanted and would try it on.

“I think that it really boosted a lot of girls self-confidence,” Larson said. “They got their chance to feel special and find something that they loved.”

In addition to prom dresses offered to the girls, local tuxedo businesses also offered free rentals to the boys if they were in need of a tux for the dance as well. The night helped many of the girls and guys find what they had been looking for.

“It is a reminder to students that teachers and people in the community care about them and this special night that was made for them. They do not want the phrase, ‘I don’t have a dress’ to be their excuse out of one the most memorable nights of your high school life,” junior Meredith Grantham said.

Hickey is planning to continue with “Say Yes to the Dress — Prom Edition” in future years for winter formal and prom. Students will continue to be able to find a dress that fits their needs.

“I think that it was a way to get everyone involved, and everyone was able to have a chance to go to prom in something that they love,” Larson said. “They were also able to just feel good about themselves and have the perfect night like the women on the real show, ‘Say Yes to the Dress.’ Dancing the night away in the perfect dress is every girl’s dream.”