Frankfort – With prom season around the corner, one young woman is going out of her way to make sure every girl feels beautiful for her big night.
Frankfort-native Melody Valasek is collecting prom dress donations at the Frankfort Free Library in preparation for a dress-giveaway next month.
“I think it’s important for the girls who might not be able to have a nice dress otherwise,” said Valasek, who works as a librarian assistant.
While the dress collection and giveaway is in its fifth year, this year marks the first time Valasek has taken charge.
Valasek’s mother, Ronda Valasek, began the program. But after her February passing of pancreatic cancer, Melody Valasek, decided to keep her mother’s legacy alive by continuing in her footsteps.
“People started calling the library asking about the giveaway and whether they could donate their dresses,” Valasek said of her decision. “We still had some dresses left from last year and the girls enjoy it so much.”
“Ronda’s passing was a huge loss for the whole community,” said Librarian Manager Marietta Phillips. “And it was very hard on Melody. But she stood up and said, ‘this was important to my mom and I’m going to continue it.'”
So far, Valasek has collected more than 150 dresses in the libraries basement, along with a number of shoes and accessories.
Those dresses and accessories will be given out to girls on April 10 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and again on April 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the library, on South Frankfort Street. The giveaway is open to girls from all local communities and there is no need to sign up in advance, Valasek said. Make-shift dressing rooms have been set up, complete with full-length mirrors.
Valasek says she hopes to also have gift certificates donated by local hair and nail salons to raffle off during the giveaway, as in years past.
“Prom is a big day for these girls and they want it to be memorable and look their best,” Phillips said. “The community is really blessed to have people like Melody, and her mother before her, to do something like this.”