Prom dresses get recycled

At least 300 donated prom dresses were made available to students from area school distrricts at no charge last Saturday, part of the “A Closet Full of Class” project led by Northgate teacher Kelly Kunst. Pictured at the evnt, from left, are volunteers Amy Weryha, Diane Burns, Shannon Burns and Kunst. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

Prom night. It’s supposed to be one of the most memorable and most enjoyable events in any high school student’s social life.

Add to that, the most expensive event in any high school student’s social life, one of those expenses being hundreds of dollars spent for prom dresses that will be worn for one night and then be packed away, never to be worn again -- or maybe to be donated to a school “prom gown recycling” event, such as “A Closet Full of Class” sponsored by Northgate learning support teacher Kelly Kunst, whose student and adult team gathered at least 300 gently worn gowns, along with shoes and accessories to fit any young lady’s budget.

After weeks of planning, the “Big Day for the Big Night” all came together last Saturday in the high school cafeteria, where the gowns were made available at no charge to girls from neighboring schools that included Shaler and Avonworth, as well as others.

In addition to six Northgate students, Kunst was assisted by staff members Diane Burns, Shannon Burns and Amy Weryha, along with some other helpers. Industrial arts teacher Clayton Berwick’s students constructed display racks and a department store donated boxes of gown hangers.

This was the first year for the gown program, which Kunst described as being “…very successful. Each girl who came left with a gown, shoes, and a smile.”