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Prom and party dress sale set; a benefit for Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center

Rhonda Dukart and Lacey Rustand hold up a few dresses that will be available for purchase at the upcoming prom and party dress sale.

It’s time to think about prom and party dresses.

The 10th annual prom and party dress sale will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge, with all proceeds going to the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center. The sale is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More than 500 new and gently used dresses have been consigned to this year’s sale. Donations of dresses are still being accepted to the sale. Drop them off at Consolidated or American Bank Center downtown.

This year, in addition to the new dresses donated by Special Occasions, all remaining new-gown inventory was donated by J. Marie Boutique.

“She has a lot of prom dresses, mother-of-the- bride and bridesmaids dresses -- just a real variety of gowns,” said Rhonda Dukart, who is serving on the prom dress committee.

“We find that young women all over southwestern North Dakota -- Hebron, Beulah, Beach -- come and shop for their prom dresses, as well as Dickinson High School and Trinity High students,” Dukart said. “What makes this project so successful is the fact you can buy a $400 dress for $40. Most girls wear their prom dresses once and don’t ever wear it again. It hangs in the closet and  mom doesn’t know what to do with it.”

The donated dresses don’t need to be dry cleaned -- the committee will touch them.

“We have dresses from $10 to about $50,” she said.

The dresses are stored at American Bank Center. A committee of 12 volunteers takes  the dresses to Ramada, prices them and returns the unsold dresses to storage.

The volunteers all are motivated by the same cause -- to support the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center.

“We immensely appreciate the sales from this event,”  said case manager Heather Ingman. “We are in the process of building a new center, but it’s nice not to have dollars attached to a grant.  It’s  also nice to see it as a  benefit that goes into the community -- to help a young adult who might not have $400 to spend on a prom dress.”

Dukart supports  the benefit for the children at the shelter, as much as for the victims.

“I’ve been involved many years, but I’d never really gone upstairs where the families stay. I saw a little boy with big brown eyes who looked into my heart -- I’ve never forgotten,” said Dukart. Lacey Rustand, who works at American Bank Center, is a member of the committee for the second year.

“I show them dresses, run around, take dresses in and out of the dressing room -- it’s fun. It’s really neat to see the girls shopping,” Rustand said.

“I invited Lacey because I wanted a young person’s taste in dresses -- and she has a lot of style,” added Dukart. “The girls walk out beaming because they have a pretty dresses. I enjoy seeing those girls walk out with those big smiles.”