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Fashion show will kick off spring anti-hunger campaign

Teresa Mulgrew styles the hair of Dahlia Geraghty at the Salon in Woodbury. Geraghty, a student at Red Rock Elementary School, will join fellow students and District 833 teachers on the runway at Sunday’s Fairytale Fashion for Food at Woodbury High School. Employees from the Salon will provide hair styling and makeup at the anti-hunger benefit. (Submitted photo)

Scoring that perfect prom dress could mean feeding a child for a month.

But it's important to know where to shop.

To feed underserved students in South Washington County Schools, two community groups have been busy collecting donated prom, bridesmaids and party dresses.

The initiative, Fairytale Fashion for Food, launches Feb. 12 with a fashion show and dress sale at Woodbury High School.

All proceeds will help pay for a summer food pack program for District 833 students who are on the free and reduced lunch program.

Sunday's event, which runs 1-4 p.m., includes the Vintage Vibes Fashion Show, which will feature District 833 students and teachers modeling frocks and gowns from decades past. Racks of dresses will be available for sale at the Dress Swap & Shop for a Classy Cause. The cost is $20 for adult dresses and $10 for youth sizes. Trades will also be accepted.

Organizers hope to attract girls who plan to attend their spring prom at East Ridge, Park and Woodbury high schools, as well as little misses bound for the March 25 Daddy Daughter Dance.

Don't stress if you don't find your dress. The sale will continue through May as more dresses are donated. They'll be sold out of a mobile store made from a converted school bus dubbed #CESkoolie.

Think of it as an ice cream truck that sells dresses.

The event is organized by local anti-hunger group SoWashCoCares and employees of South Washington County Schools Community Education.

"We have a lot of students who rely on the schools for their meals," said Cheryl Jogger, a Woodbury parent and founder of SoWashCoCares. "When there's an extended break, sometimes these students really struggle. We want to help bridge that gap over the summer. The goal is to send students home with a month's worth of food at the end of the school year."

Multiple dress donation sites opened Jan. 17 at businesses and district offices. The district will continue to sell dresses and accept donations through the spring prom season at the three District 833 high schools.

The problem of "food insecurity" among students outside of school prompted employees of south Washington County Schools Community Education to organize the weekend packs program as a way to supplement the district's extracurricular food service programs. They have about 150 students in the pack program, communications specialist Jacqueline Valek said.

"They provide food for students over the weekend," Valek said. The cost of providing packs for students is expected to be about $5,000 for the months of June and August.

The silver painted bus will make its debut at Sunday's event.

Valek said they are working on a mobile app that will let shoppers view the inventory on #CESkoolie and track where it will stop next. Meanwhile, follow @ceskoolie on Facebook or visit www.cecool.com/community/skoolie.

Each dress purchased will feed a child for one month, she said.

Other Community Education employees involved in the show are Sue McKeown, Bob Lawrence, and Jessica Johnson.

Dress donation drop-off locations

• District Program Center, 8400 E. Point Douglas Rd., Cottage Grove

• Community Education Office, lower level, Central Park, Woodbury

• Minnesota School of Cosmetology 1750 Weir Drive, Woodbury. Drop off times are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m and Saturdays. Last day for donations is Feb. 11. For more information, contact Cassie Hartman at 651-332-8073 or chartman@msccollege.edu

• The Salon, 1815 Radio Dr. Suite J, Woodbury, 8-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Last day for donations is Feb. 11.

If you go:

Fairytale Fashion for Food: Dress Shop & Swap for a Classy Cause takes place 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at Woodbury High School, 2665 Woodlane Drive.

The event will include a Vintage Vibes Fashion Show, local vendors and fashion consultants and a formal dress swap for girls 5-18. A $5 donation is requested for adults and $1 for youth. Pre-registration is required to qualify for the prize drawing. Pre-register at www.cecool.com/community/ceskoolie/fairytale-fashion-food

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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