Say to the dress: Student continues prom drive for peers

Published 7:57 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Washington Daily News


BELHAVEN — A Northside High School senior continues to gather prom attire for her fellow students.

Eliza Bowen, who started Pearl’s Prom Boutique drive last year, is supervising the collection of shoes, dresses and jewelry for students having difficulties purchasing prom attire.

“These are difficult economic times, and this is the best way that I could think of to reach out to my peers and bring the community together,” she said. “This project is not about any one person but about all the people who are helping and all those that will benefit.”

Bowen named the pop-up dress boutiques after her great-grandmother, the late Pearl Monteith.  According to Bowen, Monteith inspired her by “always reaching out to those in the community any way she could.”

Bowen will open dress shops at First Church of Christ, 520 E. 10th St., Washington and at First Christian Church, 419 E. Main St., Belhaven, where students may pick out something to wear. To avoid having dresses people might recognize at the proms, Bowen will give away Washington dresses for the Northside prom and vice versa.

Drop boxes are located at The Beaufort Hyde Partnership for Children next to Belk’s at Washington Square Mall in Washington, The Foxy Florist and Gifts in Belhaven and the Belhaven Public Library. Also, teens who participate in The Path at First Church of Christ can bring dresses to the next scheduled The Path meeting March 30.

Pearl’s Prom Boutique will be held March 29 at First Church of Christ in Washington and April 12 at First Christian Church in Belhaven. The boutiques will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.  Appointments can be made for times outside operating hours.

The project involves volunteers from both participating churches. Dresses, shoes and other items have been contributed by area businesses, including AVA Formals.

“So far, we’ve collected 14 dresses just within the past two weeks,” said Bowen. “We are asking that all dresses be new or gently used, and we’re looking for styles from 2007 to this year.”

Last year, Pearl’s Prom Boutique collected more than 100 dresses along with shoes and jewelry, giving 23 young women dresses and accessories for events such as high school proms, middle school formal dances, the GED prom in Belhaven and the formal family dinner and program for a special-needs class at Northeast Elementary School.

Invitations to the boutique will be distributed to all young women at local high schools.

For more information about Pearl’s Prom Boutique, call 252-943-8416.