News release
Public Information Office  SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 2/10/04
      HAMMOND –  Just in time for the local prom season, Southeastern Louisiana University sorority women are sponsoring “The Princess Dress Shoppe” – a unique scholarship fundraiser. 
      Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hammond Square Mall on three Saturdays, Feb. 28, March 6 and March 13, the shop will offer more than 100 formal dresses previously worn by members of Southeastern sororities. The dresses, which come in all sizes and styles, are discounted 60-70 percent. The shop is located on the mall’s second level.
      ThePromSite.Com estimates that prom attire, including gown, shoes, accessories and grooming, can cost young girls as much as $500. When the Internet site surveyed more than 2,250 girls last spring, more than half said they will spend $100-$200 on a prom dress, while almost a fourth said they would spend $250 or more. 
      Given those kinds of expenses, “Many high school girls are looking for fashionable, affordable dresses,” said Kay Harrison, director of Student Organizations/Greek Life.
      “I really like the idea as a way to cut costs,” said Gwen Myers, principal of Hammond High School. 
      Proceeds from the Princess Dress Shoppe will go to the Lisa Hill Greek Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has been organized by a group of sorority alumni to fund a scholarship for Southeastern’s Greek organizations. Hill, a 1991 Southeastern graduate from Baton Rouge and member of Phi Mu sorority, died in 1996, after losing a long battle against Lupus. 
      The fund-raising ideas are complements of Tará Burnthorne Lopez, a 1992 Southeastern graduate whose University of Southern Mississippi students came up with a marketing plan for the Lisa Hill Greek Memorial Scholarship.  
      In addition to the Princess Dress Shoppe, the plan, which was introduced to the campus and community at a reception in November, also includes a combination raffle and prestigious event called a “Draw Down.” Throughout the festive event, which would include dinner, music and other fun, tickets are drawn for prizes, all leading up to the grand-finale – a $5,000 prize. 
      Harrison said the dress shop has collected 20-30 dresses from each Southeastern sorority chapter, as well as items from women in the community. Some dresses are priced as low as $20 with the average being from $40 to $100, “which is extremely reasonable for a prom dress,” she said. She added that the “up-to-date and trendy” dresses are all in good condition and freshly cleaned.
      She said Southeastern fraternities have contributed to the project by soliciting sponsorships, distributing flyers to area high schools, helping set up the shop, and transporting dresses to the mall.
      Maggie Colleps of Denham Springs, a member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, said her sorority sisters have contributed a dozen dresses so far, with more to come. Some of the dresses even come with matching jewelry, she said.
      “I think this is a really good idea,” she said. “Most people only wear a prom dress once. You know you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the same dress the next year!”
      She said she is looking forward to assisting the young customers. “A lot of girls go shopping with their mothers, but they really don’t always agree with what their mothers say,” she laughed. “We’ll be on hand to tell them if the dress fits right and to give them an opinion from someone close to their own age.” 
      “I think it’s going to be lots of fun,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it. I always love prom season.”
      For additional information about the Princess Dress Shoppe and the scholarship, contact Harrison at 985-549-2120.