Fulton woman offers prom dresses for loan

One hundred dresses have been donated to Bonsall’s Prom Dresses for Loan project, as well as 20-25 pairs of shoes and even five wedding dresses.

One hundred dresses have been donated to Bonsall’s Prom Dresses for Loan project, as well as 20-25 pairs of shoes and even five wedding dresses. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

Debbie Bonsall was driving to Columbia to go shopping with friends last year when she overheard two of them in the back seat talking about how expensive prom dresses are.

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Debbie Bonsall pulls out one of the prom dresses she has collected to loan out to area girls. From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at the Heartland Church gym, girls can come browse through the collection to find a dress to borrow for their school dance.

That overheard conversation led Bonsall to the idea for a new community service project. Over the past six months, she has collected 100 gently used prom dresses, which she plans to loan out to area girls who may not be able to afford to buy a dress.

“The community’s been great — people I don’t know have come to me and given dresses. It has just snowballed,” Bonsall said of her Prom Dresses for Loan project. “For the first year to have 100 (dresses), that’s awesome.”

From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, young women in need of a prom dress are invited to the gym at Heartland Church to browse through those 100 dresses, which range from size 0 -18. Bonsall said her plan for the dresses is to “loan them out and ask them to bring them back.” She said she also has five wedding dresses and 20-25 pairs of shoes that have been donated to her cause. There will be no charge to borrow one of Bonsall’s dresses. She also stressed that the dress loans are confidential.

aning out dresses was something she wanted to do, Bonsall said her motivation was helping make prom happen for the young women.

“I’m looking forward to the fact there’s going to be some girls that can go to prom that may not have been able to afford a dress otherwise,” Bonsall said. “I want to help take some of the financial concern from the parents.”

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