Blanton came up with the idea eight years ago. She works at The RoseTree Boutique, and at the time saw an employee loading up dresses into bags to get rid of them. Blanton became curious if the dresses could be put to good use and contacted the Human Resource Office to see if there was a need, and there was. Blanton’s next step was to reach out to her church, the Vineyard Church of God, to ask if she could provide dresses through the ministry.

The church was immediately on board and both Carma Crum, the pastor’s wife, and Anita Marcum joined in. The RoseTree donated dresses, jewelry and shoes and now continues to do so. The church’s inventory started out with around 30 dresses and has continued to grow each year.

For the first few years, the group brought the dresses to Boyd County High School for girls to try on. However, the transporting became difficult and Blanton said many of the girls were embarrassed to look through the dresses during school.

Now, an entire room is dedicated to the dance wardrobe where racks fill up the space, and both shoes and jewelry are put on display resembling the look of a store.  Blanton said around 60 girls are helped every year with finding dresses for not only homecoming, but prom and other dance-related events.

“To some people it sounds silly but this is important to them and you don’t want them to miss out if they don’t have to,” said Blanton.

On Saturday, the girls will be able to receive alterations on their dresses and will be given a gift bag that includes personal items. Blanton said free dance tickets, flowers and hair appointments are also often provided to the girls.

Although the majority of the participants are from Boyd County High School, Blanton said girls have come from as far as Wayne County to pick out a dress. Over the past few years the church has also seen an increase in donations from those who just want to help with the cause.

Members of the church pitch in as well to help with anything needed. Crum said the church is working on a room designated to the dresses that will have dressing rooms and a storefront appearance.

Blanton said that girls who cannot make the event on Saturday can still come out to look for a dress. However, they should allow enough time for alterations between now and the day of their dance.