BETHALTO — Uncommon Youth is hosting its fourth semi-annual formal dress resale from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at Cornerstone Church, 196 S. Moreland Road.
There will be a sneak peek sale Friday, Sept. 11. There will also be an expo featuring jewelry and beauty vendors and a women’s self-defense studio. Additionally, vendors will have door prizes for attendees.
Cornerstone youth pastor Chris Stanley said the idea for the sale came from members of the church group Uncommon Youth a few years ago. Girls in the youth group thought a dress resale was a creative way to raise money for missions. He said the sale has grown bigger each time it is held.
“The first sale we did was small. We had about 50 to 75 dresses and one dress sold,” Stanley said. “The last sale in February had 560 dresses and we raised $1,500 for missions and $2,500 in dresses sold.”
Dress sale coordinator Becca Brown said after each sale the team talks about what worked and didn’t work so it can make the next event more successful.
“For instance, we learned we needed more dress take in days,” Brown said. “Our second sale was so successful that we were literally at the church until midnight the night before the sale setting up and pricing dresses. Then the next day we had to be back by 7 a.m. Another thing we are doing new is the sneak peek.”
For a $5 entry fee, girls can shop from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, before the event on Saturday. Brown said they had several requests for this preview sale and the team thought it was a good idea, so it was incorporated. The group listens to shoppers’ and seller’s suggestions and weighs them to see if they are feasible, Brown said.
Stanley said it takes a lot of planning and all the youth are encouraged to volunteer.
“It takes everyone to make this successful,” Stanley said. “The boys help with moving and lifting heavy items, the girls assist with moving dresses and even moms and grandmas help with fitting rooms.”
People wishing to sell a dress at the sale are charged a flat $10 fee for the first five dresses they have to sell. Additional dresses are $1 each. Shoes and accessories also can be entered in the sale for $1 each. Sellers set the price for their items and do not have to be present at the sale.
The youth will collect dresses from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5.
The youth group is inviting businesses traditionally associated with homecoming and prom to set up tables to showcase their services. This includes florists, tanning salons, beauticians and restaurants. There is no charge for the businesses to participate other than contributing a door prize. The hope is this will help make the sale more of an event and draw a larger crowd.
The dress resale is just one of several fundraising events the youth group is conducting to raise funds for Speed the Light, an Assembly of God student-led initiative where youths raise money to support world missionaries with funds to buy essential transportation and sound equipment used to spread the love of Christ.
“These missionaries do everything from providing clean drinking water in Africa to rescuing men, women and children from human trafficking,” Stanley said.
Since Jan. 1, 2015, the youth group has raised approximately $8,000 for the initiative. Other fundraising events planned for the year include raking leaves and a chili cook-off. Stanley said each $100 raised frees one person from sex slavery.
“It’s incredible to watch a group of students sacrifice so much so that other people around the world, that they have never met, will have an opportunity to meet with Christ,” Stanley said.
More information can be found on the dress resale’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/uncommonresale or by calling the church at (618) 377-7625.