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Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Tammy Marshall, owner of Tranquil Beauty Design salon, left, is planning a Prom Gown and Bridal Expo at Penn's Peak on March 25. The event will also include a resale area of prom gowns, formal wear and cocktail dresses, mother-of-the-bride dresses, flower girl dresses and bridal gowns, organized by Auriel, right, and Nadalyn Imbriaco, front.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter. Donations of items will be accepted at Marshall's salon at 632 Coal St., Lehighton up until the day before the event. Call (610) 377-1979. A second drop off site will be Vangie's Tanning Center, 279 Delaware Ave., Palmerton. Call Vangie's at (610) 826-8090.

If you're planning to clean out your closet and happen to find some prom dresses that are no longer being used, there are girls who have a need. Your donation will also help sick children with their dreams.

Last year, Tammy Marshall, owner of Tranquil Beauty Design salon of Lehighton, accepted donations of prom gowns and gave them to girls who needed one. She had a good response to the project, which brought many girls and gowns together. She estimated that 450 gowns were donated to girls who needed a gown.

"We had such beautiful gowns last year," she said.

"Some people brought in the whole shebang, from shoes to gowns to jewelry." This year she is coordinating a Prom Gown and Bridal Expo at Penn's Peak, Maury Road, Jim Thorpe, on March 25 where a prom gown, bridal gown, formal wear and cocktail dress resale area will be part of the main event. Doors open at noon and the event will start at 1 p.m.

The Prom Gown and Bridal Expo will feature a fashion show by Ann Margaret's of Palmerton featuring new prom and bridal gowns and bridesmaids and flower girl dresses, along with a showing of evening wear on the Penn's Peak stage.

In the large hall there will be displays with information available throughout the afternoon to help future brides plan their weddings or other special occasions, plus there will be giveaways, raffles and a Chinese auction. Among the vendors on display will be photographers, DJs, caterers and bakeries.

Marshall's goals for the expo are to raise funds for Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter, a local organization that fulfills the dreams of area children who are facing a serious illness; and to provide an opportunity for Carbon County businesses to prove they have everything available in the county for brides to customize the planning of their big day.

The Lehighton businesswoman turned over the prom gown and formal wear recycling project to Auriel Imbriaco, a Palmerton teenager, who will organize the donations and sell the items during the expo for $10 each. The idea for this year's Prom Gown and Bridal Show originated after Marshall discussed theprom gown resale project with the 13-year-old eighth-grade student, who wanted to organize the project to benefit Dream Come True. The teenager's little sister, Nadalyn, has been battling Acute Myelogenous Leukemia for the past four years. The child, presently in remission, will be assisting her sister with the prom gown resale project.

"I organized the project last year because so many girls don't have the money for a dress and then hear about so many girls who no longer wear the dresses they have," said Marshall.

She will accept donations of pre-worn prom gowns, bridal gowns and formal wear at her beauty salon at 632 Coal St., Lehighton up until the day before the event. For information, call (610) 377-1979 or (610) 533-9311.

Arrangements can also be made to have someone pick up donations. A second drop off site is Vangie's Tanning Center, 279 Delaware Ave., Palmerton. Call Vangie's at (610) 826-8090.

Donations are also being accepted for the Chinese auction by calling (610) 377-5559. The drawing for the door prizes and Chinese auction items will be at 5 p.m. There will no admission charged to the expo and everyone is invited to attend.