Salon donates 150 gowns just in time for ‘big night’

At top, Salena Santiago, an LHU student and intern at the Salvation Army, displays one of the gowns. At left, Embellish owner Ashley Cramer talks about the dress donation. SPENCER McCOY/THE EXPRESS

LOCK HAVEN — This community is all about loving, caring and giving.

And the latest example is a partnership between Embellish Salon and Formal Wear, and the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Ashley and John Kramer purchased Embellish a little more than a year ago.

They’ve set their sights on being community-minded. So, they decided to reach out and touch the lives of local teenage girls by donating nearly 150 prom gowns and dresses to the Thrift Store in downtown Lock Haven where they are being sold for $10 apiece.

Yes, that’s right — just $10 will put a smile on a girl’s face as she finds her perfect prom dresses among the huge assortment.

SPENCER McCOY/THE EXPRESS Jennifer Young of Lock Haven searches for a prom dress for her daughter Natalie.

These dresses and gowns are left from Danielle’s Dream Dress Drive which Embellish hosted in March, Ashley explained.

“We decided to give them to the Thrift Store in hopes that local high school girls will find one that they will wear to their prom or ball,” Ashley said, smiling broadly and feeling good about the gesture.

“We’re all about giving back to the community,” Ashley continued. “We feel it’s important to get involved in the community and to help people out. It helps your business… and makes you feel good inside, too.”

And so the long racks filled with gowns in all sizes, styles, colors and lengths were wheeled up the sidewalk to the Thrift Store Tuesday afternoon and were being readied for display in the front of the Thrift Store on Wednesday.

Store Manager Deb Moore was excited.

She said the generosity of Ashley and John fits right in with the mission of the Salvation Army — helping others… helping the community.

“It’s just amazing. These dresses are beautiful. I’m sure every girl who comes in will be able to find one that suits her taste,” she said, pulling the gowns and dress out and taking a closer look. One of the employees in the Thrift Store was looking as the gowns as she talked about her daughter’s wedding later this year.

Another shopper looked closely and admired the shorter style dresses, saying her daughter hadn’t yet gotten her prom dress and she’ll be bringing her down to look.

A student from Lock Haven University who is interning at the Thrift Store was fascinated by the large number of dresses. She pulled some out and held them up against her. “I like this one,” she remarked with a smile.

Some are strapless, some have sleeves. Some are long, others are short. Some are adorned with glitter and beads. Others are more casual and classic.

There’s got to be every color in the rainbow, from bright reds, oranges and yellows to pastels and of course many teenage girls’ favorite color — black.

Many of the gowns and dresses are new and have the original tags on them, including the price, which in some cases is $100, $200 or more. Others have been worn… probably one time to the ball or prom.

So, if you haven’t yet gone shopping for your prom or ball dress, there’s a new place in town that could be where you find it.

And you don’t want to wait much longer. The dances are just around the corner — Central Mountain Sophomore/Junior Prom is Saturday, May 20; Central Mountain Senior Ball is Friday, May 26; and Bucktail High School Senior Ball is Saturday, May 6.

Moore says shoppers can take their time and look through the large assortment and try the dresses on to see how they fit.

“We’ll be here to help in any way we can,” she said, encouraging those planning to attend the prom or ball not to miss out on this opportunity.