For one day a year, Reston Community Center Lake Anne transforms into a not-to-be missed dress and accessories boutique for teens. There are racks of glittery gowns and bright party outfits, rows of shoes and drawers of accessories to glamorize anyone heading to a spring formal. And it is all available for free.
RCC’s Diva Central, held in 2018 on March 24 from 12pm to 6pm, is in its 16th year. The community center’s staff collects dry-cleaned donations during a month-long dress drive in February. Middle and high school students can “shop” during the one-day March event to completely outfit themselves for prom and other formal dances for free.
RCC Leisure and Learning Director Eileen Boone said she is always impressed by the community’s generosity in donating gently used (or even some new with tags) clothing. Donations are tax-deductible.
“I think people are excited to see new life for formalwear—items that may have cost a lot and were worn once,” said Boone. “We are doing what eBay and vintage stores do, right here in the Reston community, but all at no cost. Spring dances are becoming an increasingly expensive experience for high school students; we hope to lessen that financial burden for local teens.”
When you factor in tickets, limo rides, hair styling, and of course, formal ensembles, the average cost of attending the prom on the East Coast is around $700, according to Yahoo’s 2017 Prom Across America Survey. The cost of a dress averages between $100-$400 (or much more, depending on where you shop).
Teens will have access to hundreds of dresses and accessories across a wide spectrum of sizes. There is a one-dress-per-shopper limit. The event is open to middle and high school students. Volunteers are on hand to help teens style their choices.
Reston Community Center Lake Anne is located at 1609 Washington Plaza North at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston.
For more information, contact LaTanja Jones, RCC’s Collaboration and Outreach Director, at 703-390-6158 or LaTanja.Jones@fairfaxcounty.gov.