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MILLERSBURG -- Have you looked in your closet lately and seen an old formal dress from a high school prom or homecoming dance, or even a bridesmaid's dress you always had hoped to someday wear again?
If you answered yes and would like to see that dress adorn a young lady currently in high school, the Holmes County Library is hosting its first-ever Holmes County Formal Exchange clothing swap.
Beginning Jan. 9, patrons are invited to drop off clothing donations at the Central library in Millersburg.
Kimberli Hiller, director of teen services at the Holmes County District Public Library, has extended an invitation to students in grades 9-12 from in and around Holmes County to participate in the clothing swap.
"Held at the Central library in Millersburg, teens are welcome to bring formal clothing to swap for like-new dresses and young men's formal wear," Hiller said. "The event is scheduled for Sunday Jan. 22, beginning at 2 p.m.
"We will accept homecoming outfits, prom wear, bridal dresses, suits, pageant dresses and accessories including shoes and jewelry, in like-new condition," Hiller continued. "I was a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding a few years ago. The dress is cute, but I'll never wear it again. Somebody else might want to wear it."
Students and adults may take formal clothing to donate even if they are not looking to swap. Library staff will gladly accept donations anytime from Jan. 9 through the day of the event, anytime the library is open.
Students will have the opportunity to win door prizes from area businesses.
"We have several businesses coming from all over Holmes County that will be here that day displaying their wares," Hiller said. "Adults may accompany teens to the event and donate items, but are ineligible to win prizes or swap for clothing."
Area salons, make-up artists, jewelry vendors, nail artists and a sewing alterations expert (Phyllis Young) will be on-hand to book appointments and answer questions.
"She'll be on-hand to tell a girl who finds a dress that doesn't fit right, if it can be altered or if it is too far beyond repair," Hiller said. "Dressing areas will be available during the event. We'll also have an iPad photo area to see how they look. Sometimes dresses don't translate well to photos."
Hiller said one of the salons will do a special makeover the day of the event and another is donating an "up-do" for prom.
Items brought to the swap will be considered as a donation and will either be stored or donated to local charities per staff discretion after the event.
"Right now, we are interested in getting the word out to let people know this is going to happen," Hiller said.
An invitation has been sent to Hiland and West Holmes high schools, as well as Garaway, Coshocton, Waynedale, Triway, Ashland, Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center, Loudonville, Dalton and Central Christian.
"We're not excluding anybody. It's open to anybody who wants to come," she added.
Hiller said she saw a similar type idea at Triway, where they take donations and girls pay $5 or $10 at the door and then they can buy a dress.
"We kind of built on their idea to fit our demographic," Hiller said. "We wanted to give girls and guys a chance to get formal wear new to them because prom is so expensive. We're hoping to allay the costs a little bit for local teens."
For more information about this event, contact Hiller at the library, 330-674-5972, Ext. 203.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.