Iona Orcutt sashayed across the room in her pretty, long, white dress. She beamed as she showed her mother and grandmother her new prom dress. Her beautiful red hair flowed and eyes sparkled as she pranced around the room with the new hairdo and makeup.
Orcutt may not have had the opportunity to get a prom dress or even get to her high school prom without the help from the church with a cross and a flame.
It all began with Ginny Hogue, member of Centenary United Methodist Church in Danville, Kentucky. Collecting clothes for Lil' Cherubs, the church's consignment store, she noticed many people had donated prom dresses. Hogue realized there could be teenage girls who did not have dresses or money to go to their high school prom.
Hogue began making phones calls to neighboring schools – including the Kentucky School for the Deaf. Her vision came to life when the school counselors recommended 27 girls to receive dresses so they could attend their proms.
On Feb. 13, Centenary's hall was filled with 311 prom dresses, 71 pairs of shoes, three tables of jewelry and evening bags. More than 50 volunteers showed up to help girls try on dresses and give hair and make-up tips. They shared tears, giggles and laughter as the girls tried on the dresses and shoes.
The Rev. Mike Voigts, Centenary's pastor, peeked in and was thrilled when he saw all the excitement. "This gave us a chance to get to know others and welcome them," he said. He said a proud moment was when he saw the look in one father's eyes when his daughter walked into the room wearing a beautiful, long gown.
On the actual prom day in April, the girls will have their hair and makeup professionally done. Local flower shops have donated corsages. The outreach team at Centenary bought their prom tickets at $60 each.
"It was just beautiful," said Hogue. She is thrilled the girls will be able to experience this special moment in their lives.
AT A GLANCE Centenary United Methodist Church | 1441 Perryville Rd., Danville, KY 40422 | 859-236-4800 | [email protected] | www.facebook.com/danvillecumc | Rev. Michael C. Voigts | Average Attendance: 310 | Kentucky Conference
"It Worked for Us" is written by Christine Kumar, a freelance writer and administrator, Baltimore Metropolitan District, Baltimore-Washington Conference. Send story ideas to [email protected].