Making prom dreams a reality the focus of event

PARKERSBURG – Local event planner Misti Sims is organizing the third annual Dresses and Dreams of the Mid-Ohio Valley event.

Organizers and donators to the event will offer aid to a select group of high school juniors and seniors attending a prom this year.

“If anyone knows a young lady in need of assistance they can send me the information,” said Sims, owner of Little Black Dress Events. “It can be any Wood or Washington County school.”

Event coordinators are seeking donations including mirrors, hangers, clothing racks and gift certificates. Items and services that can be donated also include flowers, hairsytlers, make-up designers and photographers.

The event provides the new and gently used formal gowns and accessories to high school girls whose parents are in financial distress. Sims said anyone can donate gently used prom dresses. Donations can be dropped off on Saturday, March 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Lee’s Studio on Murdoch Avenue in Parkersburg.

Stephanie Taylor, marketing director for Lee’s Studio, said the company is offering an incentive to people who drop of dresses.

“Anyone who drops off dresses will be invited to have a free steam facial,” she said.

This year, local businesses are donating prizes, which will be given away during Boutique Day on March 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Parkersburg Art Center.

“Elizabeth Michaels donated dresses last year with the tags still on them,” Sims said of the Parkersburg store.

Sims accepts referrals to the program through churches, teachers, counselors, community agencies and other trusted adults, she said. Those selected to attend the Boutique Day at the Parkersburg Art Center are sent formal invitations by Sims.

She said people can volunteer their time to help organize the event and are generally asked to be the women of the community, preferably out of high school.

Premier Productions will be at the event to provide a disc jockey. Floral donations for the girls to win will be donated by Crown Floral and Orchid Floral Designs.

Sims said Lee’s Studio is donating two gift certificates for make-up and a spray tan.

Organizers are seeking a business to supply cupcakes on the boutique day for the girls.

Sims is looking for donations to be made with dresses in larger sizes. She said she likes to have a good collection of sizes but is lacking in the 18 to 24 size range.

“Many of the dresses donated are in smaller sizes,” she said of the 200 dresses already donated. “It would be nice to have a selection.”

Those who want to donate formal gowns to Dresses and Dreams of the Mid-Ohio Valley or refer a student from Wood or Washington County can contact Sims at