By Teka Collier
Special to the News 

Woman's Club Members Create Free "Prom Store" for High School Students

Group Also Donated Cash to Cover Cost of Prom Tickets


Last updated 3/29/2023 at 12:16pm

Jan Lewis

Members of the GFWC Woman's Club of Lake Wales donated dozens of gowns that were among hundreds of items collected for their free "Prom Store" in support of students at Lake Wales High School. From left to right, Jessica Bray, Teka Collier, Deborah Partlow, Eileen Johnson, and Susan Connors show off some of the treasures offered to students. The club supports multiple causes during the course of the year, raising funds through their various dinners, rentals, and weekly bingo sessions.

Dozens of Lake Wales High School students will be able to dress up and attend the annual Junior-Senior prom this year thanks to the work of a dedicated group of volunteers from the GFWC Woman's Club of Lake Wales.

Club members held a grand opening Monday morning of their special, free "Prom Store" on the school campus where those needing the clothing could "shop" to fulfill their dreams.

The members gathered prom dresses, suits, dress coats, ties, high heel shoes, men's dress shoes, jewelry, purses, makeup, nail care and much more to supply the store. The items came from their closets, friends, families, and even donations from the Lake Wales Care Center and as far away as Sarasota and Tallahassee.

With more than seventy dresses and hundreds of other items to choose from, the first of the students to enter were excited and had a blast trying on dresses and finding shoes, jewelry, and purses to match.

In addition to providing the necessary formal wear for students, the club also sponsored admission for twenty-four Lake Wales High School Seniors, presenting a check for $1,560 toward their $65.00 prom tickets.

The Prom Store will remain open during school hours for the next two weeks or until all students are able to dress to attend the school's Junior-Senior Prom 2023 to be held in April.

The Lake Wales Woman's Club will continue to supplement the store with further donations of prom clothing and accessories. Anyone having prom-related items to donate may bring them to the Woman's Club at 275 East Park Avenue on Tuesdays after 4:00 P.M.

The Lake Wales Woman's Club is in need of your support in their various fundraisers ranging from bingo, Spaghetti Dinners, "A Dickens Christmas," an International Dinner, and their upcoming Plant & Garden Festival to be held at the clubhouse on October 21, 2023 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Karyn Thompson

Woman's Club members and supporters gathered to present a check for $1,560 to Jan Lewis, second from right, to help fund prom attendance for students at Lake Wales High School. Lewis is the school's manager of the SIT program, which assists students with limited resources. From left to right, Charlene Wood, Sandy Dunn, Teka Collier, and, far right, Jessica Bray, were involved in the effort. Charlene Wood donated multiple gowns as well as cash to support the drive.

The Lake Wales Woman's Club raises money for scholarships for seniors at the Lake Wales High School as well as Spook Hill Elementary School, support for residents at area nursing homes, and many other projects. To raise the funds the club offers their auditorium clubhouse to the community for rentals, and hosts a weekly bingo session with a concession stand. Both are open to the public. The doors open to bingo at 4:00 pm Tuesdays, and the games start at 5:30 P.M.

. Woman's Club members are raising money for their building fund to make necessary repairs and improvements to their historic clubhouse. Anyone interested in becoming a member, or wishing to make a donation is encouraged to contact Teka Collier at (863) 455-6641, or [email protected].

The Lake Wales Woman's Club has adopted the Lake Wales High School S.I.T. Program as a club project on a continual basis to provide clothing, food, personal hygiene products and other items as needed by students.


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