Herscher High School’s girls bowling team is selling formal consignment dresses on Nov. 21, 2015, at the Kankakee Civic Auditorium to raise money for team fees.
Over 350 dresses have been donated and will be available to purchase at the event “It’s all About the Dress.” Local vendors such as Paul Mitchell School in Bradley, Busse and Rieck, Mary Kay and others will be offering their services. Attendees can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win a
spa package courtesy of the vendors. Pop up dressing rooms will provide potential buyers an opportunity to try on dresses.
The girls bowling team has been around since the 1970s. In 2014, Herscher High School cut the team’s funding. Bowling is the most expensive sport with fees close to $500 per team member.
“This was something I felt needed to be there as an option for the girls. I didn’t want to see it go away if it was all some girls had,” Cheri Thomas, Herscher alumna explains.
Thomas, along with other parents of the team, proposed an idea before the school board to self-fund. The board approved their request. Last year the team organized various small fundraisers in efforts to raise the money.
“We did childrens’ games and a dime toss at a couple of festivals. We had success but not enough,” Thomas said.
Thomas and her daughter Jordan came up with the idea after they attended a similar sale in Braidwood last year.
The Bowling team is hoping to raise $5000 to pay for transportation costs, alley fees and individual fees. The team has organized dress donation drop-offs in surrounding towns. Dwight, Chebanse and Tinley Park are a few towns participating.
Flip Flop Resale Shop in Bradley is one of the local businesses accepting dress donations. Melissa Regnier, owner of the resale shop has donated racks, price tags and dresses to the event. She is offering those interested in donating dresses an opportunity to drop them off during regular store hours Monday through Saturday. This event has increased traffic flow in the store.
“Everybody that has come in to donate aren’t necessarily customers so they do look through the racks,” Melissa says.
Since the team started fundraising there have been challenges. The biggest was getting the community to understand what self-funding is and what it means to the team. Not everyone was supportive of the girls last year.
“They had their team taken away from them. If they wanted it bad enough, they would work hard to get it,” Thomas said.
“It’s all about the Dress” has not only united the team but the community as a whole.
“This year, everyone is more supportive. It’s nice to see a community come together. The administration is always asking us how the fundraiser is coming along,” former team captain Jordan Thomas said.
The team is hoping to collect over 500 dresses before the event. Those interested in donating will receive 50 percent of the profits if their dress is sold. Go to Facebook and search for the event page “It’s all about the Dress” to download and print dress forms. Once forms are filled out, dresses can be donated to any of the drop-off sites. Donators can also contact Thomas to pick up dresses at a more convenient location.
–Alexis Smith, contributing writer