Teen operates prom boutique for girls in need

Published 7:25 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

“Every girl deserves to feel beautiful, especially on prom night.”

At least, that’s how Washington High School junior Mary Grace Wilder views it.

Following in the footsteps of Belhaven’s Eliza Bowen, Wilder has taken over a community prom project, now called Fashion Forward Prom Boutique. Residents can donate dresses, shoes and accessories for girls in need to come shop for their special night.

Dresses are only $5, and that cost covers alterations and dry cleaning, according to Wilder.

“It got started in Belhaven a couple years ago by a girl (Bowen), and she has gone off to college and wanted someone to take it over,” Wilder said. “I took it over, and we have started the process of moving it to Washington because it’s a more central location.”

Prom is an important night in any teenager’s life, but for ladies, costs quickly add up with nice dresses, hair, makeup, jewelry and shoes. Wilder said she wants to make sure all girls can afford prom, no matter their financial situation.

She said residents and businesses in the area have stepped up to help with the cause.

“I’ve just really been encouraged by all of the support that the community has given it so far and just all the donations,” Wilder said. “Everyone has been super about really offering up any of their skills.”

Prom is not for a couple of months, so Wilder said there is no exact cut-off date for donations. Those wanting to help can drop off donations at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce on Stewart Parkway, or the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children at Washington Square Mall.

Young ladies in need have three days to shop for prom at Beaufort County Ed Tech Center’s media center: March 18, April 1 and April 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

“I think it’s really important. It brings our community together, and these girls are in need of, you know, the support, and anything we can do to make sure they feel like they matter,” Wilder said.

For more information, contact Mary Grace Wilder at marygracewilder@gmail.com, or her mom Beth Wilder at wilderbeth@aol.com.