It is not too soon to begin preparing for the prom.
But this usually expensive feat can be accomplished on a shoestring budget. One way is to visit Ronda's Closet, housed at Aldersgate United Methodist Church near Sissonville. Ronda's Closet is a place where girls can "shop" for free. "Last year we dressed 50 to 60 girls," said organizer Julia Black.
Girls from Kanawha, Braxton and Boone counties chose prom gowns last year. There is no charge for any dress and no questions are asked, though Black said she noticed shoppers did not seem concerned about confidentiality.
"There was such a need that people just didn't care," she said. "The money was just not out there."
Because the economy remains a problem for many girls in need of gowns, Black wants to get the word out about Ronda's Closet.
Sissonville High School teacher Brenda Walker-Bowen is happy to help. She works with students every year to hold a prom fashion show.
"I have been doing a prom show for seven or eight years," she said. "I like to make students aware of what is in fashion so they can dress appropriately. I also like to work with students and let them be aware of how to present themselves on stage. It's a fun time."
The 2011 Prom Show Extravaganza at Sissonville High School is set for 1 p.m. Feb. 11 in the school auditorium with 50 seniors modeling attire. The event is open to the public. Admission is $2 with the proceeds going to the school's prom fund.
A good portion of the gowns being modeled this year will be from Ronda's Closet.
"Many kids can't afford prom dresses," Walker-Bowen said. "I thought it would be good to showcase Ronda's Closet dresses."