Corning-Painted Post High School junior Bailey Basham is putting together an event to help fellow students find affordable prom dresses.

PAINTED POST | Corning-Painted Post High School junior Bailey Basham is putting together an event to help fellow students find affordable prom dresses.

Basham’s program, called Prom Closet, donates, rents, or sells dresses at a low cost to students who may not be able to afford higher-priced prom attire. All dresses being sold are offered for $100 or less, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the Stop Bullying Now Foundation.

Prom Closet will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Corning American Legion, 8 River Rd, Corning; and 12:30-4 p.m. Sunday at the Corning VFW, 281 Baker St. Corning.

Basham came up with the idea after realizing how expensive prom can be.

“We’ve noticed that prom dresses and prom and trying to get there is so expensive nowadays,” Basham said. “It’s crazy expensive. So we wanted to do something to help people that can’t afford to go to prom, to be able to go to prom. Every girl and every guy should have their dream prom.”

The program has picked up traction with local sponsors. Those who come can receive tuxedo rental discounts from Men’s Warehouse; discounted spray tans, hair washes and styling from the The Beach House Hair and Tanning Salon, along with discounts on senior and sports pictures from Hudson Street Studios.

A large portion of the dresses were donated by girls who purchased them for a previous prom, but now wish to sell them since they likely won’t ever wear them again, Basham said.

“People that want to sell their dresses that used them for last year, the year before, they want to get rid of their dresses,” Basham said. “They’re never going to wear them again.”

C-PP High senior Riley Gonta - who is helping Basham plan and promote the event - says Prom Closet is a great opportunity for girls to acquire a nice prom dress for a relatively inexpensive cost, as many of the dresses have only been worn once and are still in good condition.

“I think for something like this, using used prom dresses that are still in good condition for under $100 is an awesome opportunity for girls,” Gonta said.

“I think girls should be confident in what they’re wearing. I don’t think they should have to compromise how they feel going into prom just because finances are a limiting factor,” she added.

Gonta doesn’t think that wearing a used dress will be an issue.

“I know last year I borrowed my dress,” Gonta said. “That was something I was totally OK with. I don’t think that a lot of girls really have an issue with that. It’s just finding something they feel confident in.”

As of Tuesday, the girls have compiled 163 dresses to offer. For Basham, the most rewarding part is seeing the look on girl’s faces when they find the perfect dress.

“I’m excited to see people’s faces, and know that we’re helping out,” Basham said. “I think that’ll be a great thing to see.”

“I think it’s amazing,” Bailey’s mother Heidi Basham said. “Bailey’s always been kind of an old caring soul.”