High school dances come with high expectations.
"It's a long process. It takes a couple of months to plan," Baldwin High School senior Stephanie Mizla said. "For boys, it's different, because it takes 15 minutes to get ready. For girls, it's a lot more stressful."
Part of that stress is financial: Dresses and accessories can add up to several hundred dollars per dance.
Baldwin's senior class hopes to relieve some of the sticker shock with its Affordably Formal fundraiser. Students will have the opportunity to buy formal and semiformal dresses and accessories, with nothing priced higher than $100.
On the other side of the equation are students whose closets are full of clothes that already have served their purpose.
"This might be a good way to clean house and earn money, and get rid of some unwanted things," Michelle Kilburn, senior class sponsor, said.
Here's how it works:
Consignment items can be dropped off from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 17-20 at the high school security entrance. The items, which can include accessories, such as shoes and handbags, should be clean and damage-free. Sellers set the price, without exceeding the $100 limit.
The Affordable Formal event is scheduled for Feb. 15, just prior to the school's annual prom fashion show. For every item sold, 60 percent goes to the seller and 40 percent to the senior class.
The fundraiser is open to everyone, not just Baldwin-Whitehall School District residents.
"I think this would really help families out," said Ms. Kilburn, who teaches business and computer classes at the high school. "By the time the parents and students buy tickets to the dance, buy flowers, have their hair and nails done, it all adds up.
"The dresses being donated have only been worn once by some of these girls. They're in almost brand-new condition."
The seniors are looking forward to the February event, the first of its kind in the area, which also will feature food sales, gift baskets and various activities.
"Girls will be there who have no real idea about dresses," Miss Mizla said. "We can give them tips about what will look good."
She intends to put items up for sale that she's purchased for special occasions but hasn't worn since.
"It's going to sit in your closet and collect cobwebs," she said. "So why not pass it along?"
Harry Funk, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.