Dress swap benefits Relay

Hoping to save teens and their parents some money and find them beautiful dresses to wear to prom, one local Relay for Life team is again planning a Prom Dress Exchange.

“I think the last few years have been financially difficult on people either directly or indirectly, and they want to save and make money,” said the event organizer Tiffany Fullenkamp. “This also gives them the opportunity to support a well known organization (the American Cancer Society) on a local level.

“Few families can say they have never been affected by cancer,” she said. “It’s everywhere and it doesn’t discriminate. It sucks!”

Citing the American Cancer Society’s slogan, Fullenkamp said they are hoping to “create a world with more birthdays” with Auglaize County’s help.

The second-ever exchange specifically benefits the Rock Out for Cancer (R.O.C.) team in memory of Fullenkamp’s younger brother, Jason Strauser, who died last spring after a seven-year battle with brain cancer.

Last year through the exchange the team raised more than $700 and they are aiming to raise even more from the event this year.

“Last year, we had amazing dresses and we are really trying to get the word out better so students and their parents can benefit from buying a slightly used dress at a great price,” Fullenkamp said.

The event is planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 18, at the St. Joseph Parish Life Center in Wapakoneta, and this year they are partnering with Grandview Cleaners and Laundry to offer a 20 percent discount on the cleaning of any dress bought that day. A seamstress also will be on hand to talk to the girls about possible alterations to ensure a perfect fit.

Organizers are asking for a $10 non-refundable donation toward the team for each dress and $5 for each accessory that is sold. Owners of the dresses and accessories set their own prices and receive all of that money back to keep.

Donation slips also are available upon request for anyone wanting one for the 2012 tax year.

Items to be sold can be dropped off at the Parish Life Center from 9 to 10 a.m. the day of the sale. Either dresses or profits can be picked up from 2 to 2:30 p.m. after the sale. Items left are to be donated to local thrift stores.

Fullenkamp said the sale is a fun way for the team to raise money and provides an opportunity to sell those no longer needed fancy dresses, shoes, purses and jewelry to those who can use the little worn items and pay a fraction of what they would have cost retail.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the Greater Auglaize County Relay for Life event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Friday, June 22, and conclude at noon Saturday, June 23, at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.

For more information on the Prom Dress Exchange call Tiffany Fullenkamp at 419-738-3303 or search for Rock Out Cancer on Facebook.