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Events set to sell, trade formal wear

A hard economy doesn't have to mean skipping prom, at least in this region.

Detroit Lakes prom advisor, Shirley Holzgrove, is taking money out of the equation by holding two events this month, where students can either choose or trade in a prom formal.

"If students don't think they won't be able to go to prom because of money reasons, they can go to their school counselor. The counselor will then give them tickets to the events. Those students can go there, pick out something they like, and take it home for prom," says Holzgrove.

Students who might not be in as much financial need, but who are simply thrifty, can bring a previously worn formal with them, and carry it around until something catches their eye.

When they find something they want, they then drop their old dress or tux for their "new" one.

The events are open to students from Detroit Lakes, Lake Park-Audubon, Frazee, Perham, Pelican Rapids, Waubun and area ALCs.

The more schools involved means less chance students will end up picking a dress from somebody they know.

Holzgrove says she hopes people will choose to simply donate their former formals as well.

Elegance by LinDee in Perham has already donated several dresses, tux shirts, and shoes for the event, and Holzgrove is hoping other formal shops follow "suit."

"The more we get, the better it will be for these students. I see what's going on around us with the economy, and it just gets harder and harder for students and their parents to afford prom. It would be a shame for somebody to miss out on it because of money."

Holzgrove is doubling up her affordability efforts with a sponsorship program.

This is where a business or individual can pay $30 (the cost of a ticket to prom and post-prom) to sponsor one Detroit Lakes student for the night.

It is the first year for both programs, and Holzgrove is holding her breath to see who steps up to help.

"I am from Hawaii, and one thing I have learned about this area is that it is full of very kind-hearted people who help when somebody needs it. All I am doing is bringing attention to the need and hoping people will respond."

The event happens Saturdays, March 19 and 26, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Detroit Lakes High School.

To find out more information or to donate to the cause, call Shirley Holzgrove at 841-7508 or email her at