Brides Against Breast Cancer Provides Discounted Gowns for a Great Cause
Jan 30, 2015 04:04PM
● By Linda Gerber
What happens when an 18-wheeler loaded with wedding gowns rolls into the Pittsburgh area? A weekend of fun and savings for local brides-to-be! Brides Against Breast Cancer has officially started its “Nationwide Tour of Gowns” with plans to visit 150 cities in 2015. The organization’s goal is to receive 5,000 donated gowns, enabling them to provide up to 40,000 hours of free cancer support services to those in need.
Brides Against Breast Cancer asks recent brides, bridal shops and designers to “pay it forward” by donating their gowns to the organization. In addition to a tax deduction, donators get the opportunity to give back while helping another bride’s dream come true.
Although the nonprofit organization is based in Florida, they recently held an event at The Fez, located in Aliquippa. “I had so much fun in Pittsburgh, and all of the girls were so excited,” said Show Manager Kyela Faett. “Even if they didn’t find a gown, they were so happy to be there. We sold more than 20 dresses and raised over $8,000.” Virtually all sizes and styles are available and discounts up to 85 percent off make it possible for future brides to afford the dress of their dreams.
The event was high-energy and included a dance contest and bouquet toss. Gowns were roped-off with pink ribbons so people could look but not touch, and volunteers were there to help once the ribbons were cut and the excitement began. Faett said, “The official unveiling of the gowns is especially fun; it’s when the girls can go in and start seeing and feeling and picking their gowns.
“Choosing a dress is very intimate and we want to reward them for supporting this cause,” she added. “When someone says “yes” to a dress, we ring a bell and the DJ asks them various questions like, ‘When are you getting married?’ and ‘Why did you pick that dress?’”
Three gowns were also donated at the Pittsburgh show. “The show in Pittsburgh was a great success,” said Faett. “It’s so easy to stay motivated when you’re working for such a great cause. After all, why not pay it forward after you say, ‘I do?’”
Sales Director Ashley Ritter says that she feels privileged to be part of such a special time in the lives of future brides. “It’s such an intimate moment when the brides find their gowns, especially when that bride, or someone in her family, has been impacted by cancer and is a survivor,” she explained. “They not only find a beautiful dress, but they can also wear it to support that person or the cause.”
The vendors at the shows provide a ‘one-stop-shop,’ and its many volunteers help in any way they can. Some attendees have scheduled their weddings, while others are there to look or just get a great deal on a dress to tuck away for a future wedding.
“I would explain our events as organized chaos,” said Ritter. “We have different shifts for brides to show up to keep things in order and to make sure that everyone has a special experience. Although we get huge turnouts, our amazing volunteer staff keeps things running smoothly.
“What started with three people and a single truck has grown to a staff of over 30 people and five trucks, allowing the organization to help more people impacted with cancer,” she added. “The future for Brides Against Breast Cancer looks bright.”
Donations of new or gently worn bridal gowns are tax-deductible and can be mailed to the organization or brought to an event. Proceeds from Brides Against Breast Cancer go to healthsupportnetwork.org, an online resource providing free information and support to cancer patients and their families.
For more information, visit bridesagainstbreastcancer.org or call 877-721-HOPE (4673).