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South Tahoe student pinch pennies for prom

The South Tahoe High School prom is Saturday, and students are pinching pennies for the big evening.

Students are organizing potlucks, borrowing or buying dresses on sale and planning to take their own pictures.

“Prom is expensive,” said Sarah Norton, president of ALLY, a campus organization. “Girls can’t pay $300 for a dress.”



ALLY is a student group that promotes tolerance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

But there are opportunities to look stunning for the evening. The ALLY prom dress giveaway started four years ago, said Bridey Heidel, ALLY group coordinator.




The first year the group provided 60 girls with dresses, but since Ross opened up a store in South Lake Tahoe, the group usually gives away fewer than 25 dresses, she added.

“Even if it’s just three dresses, it’s worth it,” Heidel said.

The giveaway is great because it gives almost everyone a chance to find a dress, ALLY member Annie Linberry said. They collected dresses about two weeks before prom, and club members posted signs around school.

Heidel said the program is not just open to STHS students, but for all students in the area.

“You can still look pretty and still go,” Norton said.

Some of the dresses donated to ALLY are brand new, and others are old bridesmaid dresses, or from the 1980s.

“It’s fun to look through if you want to go something retro with the ’80s dresses,” ALLY member Ellen Martin said.

Two tuxedos were also donated, and two students took them this year, Heidel said. ALLY wants to start collecting more attire for the boys.

Besides the help offered through ALLY’s program, students are looking at other ways to spend less on the big night.

Last year all the prom tickets were $60, but this year discounts were offered, said Hannah Kropf, Lake Tahoe Unified School Board student representative. This year tickets were $45 for students with a super Associated Student Body pass, $50 for those with a regular ASB pass and $60 for students without passes, she added.

A lot of students are downsizing their budgets this year, Kropf said. Girls are borrowing dresses, or buying them on sale. Kropf said she bought her dress on sale this year.

Instead of going out to eat, Kropf said many of her friends were hosting potlucks at their houses to save money, plus then they could have big get-togethers before the dance.

Another cost-saving measure is to take their own photos of each other, instead of buying the professional portraits from the photographer.

Other must-have prom services are still holding steady for this year.

Dress sales have increased at Ross, said Liz Shrader, Ross South Lake Tahoe manager. Girls can purchase dresses for less than $29.

Sidestreet Boutique, which also provides tuxedo rentals, has about the same amount of business as they did last year during the prom, Sidestreet Boutique owner Barbara Parina said.

Sales for boutonnieres and wrist corsages are about the same as last year, said Linda Palmieri, Enchanted Florist designer. On Thursday she was making the traditional items so the flowers would be ready for the prom-goers.


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