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A charity promotion: Liberty Lake’s mother and teenage daughter host a ball gown drive to donate free dresses

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A ball gown that Kathy Schaefer bought for her daughter would otherwise hang unused in a closet.

That’s what made Liberty Lake resident Schaefer think of all the other desperate ball gowns hidden away for dances that didn’t happen or those worn just once for a formal occasion.

So Schaefer posted to a Liberty Lake Facebook group asking for a donation of high school prom dresses. Teens could wear the formal attire at private gatherings or if schools are able to add balls later this year.

Daughter Hannah Schaefer, 18, a high school in Central Valley, wanted to help her mother with the idea.

The dress we bought for (Hannah) a while back, she thought, I’m not sure I want to wear this dress anymore, said Kathy Schaefer.

Then I started to think, I bet there are other mothers that are in this same position that have all these dresses hanging up, especially from years gone by. They shouldn’t be wasted because they are beautiful.

She said a group of parents hosted a private ball for Central Valleys seniors in May at the Coeur dAlene Resort. It’s possible that a senior dance could still perform via high school, Schaefer added, but she said that is currently uncertain.

At the recent request of the Facebook group, Schaefer offered to organize the ball gown collection with donations accepted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at Liberty Lake Childrens Academy. Schaefer teaches preschool there.

The campaign will likely end near the last week of April, and by Thursday they had around 20 dresses. Most are long formal in colors ranging from royal blue to ivory and plum. Others were shorter lengths.

Schaefer said the selection of dresses will be open to any high school student in the Spokane Valley community who may be in need of a dress.

She and her daughter are still planning how, probably in the last week of April, they’ll make the dresses available for teens to pick one up, maybe take them to high school, or post pictures of themselves in the same. Facebook group.

If a large number of them are given, they will arrange a time and place for the high school students to come and choose from what is available. Schaefer plans to ask seniors to bring the dresses back after use so the gesture can continue each year if all goes well.

Hope I have dresses and we can do this job, Schaefer said. I would do it every year, and that’s why I was saying bring it back for someone else.

I think at some point I might reach out to see if there’s a cleaner in town who’ll be ready to clean the dresses. Now, see what will take place. There are a lot of unknowns here.

But we hope high school girls enjoy wearing expensive formal clothes otherwise stored in closets.

I think that’s it, that beautiful dresses can be shared. Why hang it in the closet when someone else can enjoy it?

To drop off donations in April, the school is located at 1322 Stanford Lane in Liberty Lake.

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