2023 PROM SEASON IS COMING … Beauty Comes from the Heart Boutique offers everything young ladies and men need to make their prom night one to remember. (PHOTO BY AMY WENDT, STAFF)
By: Amy Wendt
With prom season closing in, Lori King, the coordinator for the Beauty Comes from the Heart (BCFH), is working hard to make sure everyone can find perfect formalwear for their big evening.
King, the mother of three grown sons, jokes that she is an unlikely candidate to head up an organization specializing in pre-loved formal dresses and menswear.
The idea of finding a way to help make prom dresses available for girls who couldn’t afford them just came to her. “Something just spoke to me,” recalled King.
“I was like what is this? I don’t know dresses… I don’t know that stuff because I’m a mother of boys.” Now, it’s King’s passion.
Eleven years ago, King told herself, “If one girl finds a dress, I will continue to do this.”
An area church held a similar prom dress event the prior year and decided to discontinue their event.
King gladly took that church’s remaining inventory and carried the torch by offering elegant dresses to teens for donation.
If the young lady didn’t have funds to make a donation, she was still allowed to take the dress for free so she could have something to wear to her special evening.
The first event hosted 12 young ladies and 15 prom dresses and found new homes.
BCFH’s prom dress events nearly doubled each year they were held. “It almost seems like when one dress goes out, three or four come in that are donated back. It’s just unbelievable” commented King.
Eleven years later, BCFH is going strong and continues to have an impact.
Young ladies from Northwest Ohio and beyond have found BCFH and King said she has had customers travel from Michigan, Indiana, and as far away as Cleveland just to find the perfect prom outfit.
Around five years after opening, BCFH added dress clothes for young men to the mix and now carries full suits, dress pants, shirts, shoes, and ties.
The organization also now offers wedding dresses and mother-of-the-bride/groom dresses, in both new and gently used condition.
BCFH holds two large events each season geared toward teens, one in the fall catering to homecoming attire shoppers and one in the spring focusing on prom.
The organization also helps supply formalwear to Kaitlyn’s Cottage for the Night to Shine Event in Defiance and homeschool co-ops occasionally pay BCFH a visit to find special outfits for their annual banquets.
The West Clinton Mennonite Church outside of Pettisville has been home to BCFH since its inception.
Two Sunday School rooms are stuffed with formal clothing and the remaining Sunday School rooms are used as dressing rooms.
Prior to large events, West Clinton’s Monday night Bible study women help set up the church to accomodite shoppers.
Other church members help by cleaning dresses and ensuring they are ready to go to their next home.
All donations received by the organization are sent to the Center for Child and Family Advocacy (CCFA) in Napoleon.
This year, the BCFH raised $10,105 to benefit Human Trafficking Survivors of Northwest Ohio. King noted “people are not giving huge amounts, just $5 or a couple dollars here and there, but all that adds up.”
Recently, BCFH and West Clinton Mennonite Church held a presentation featuring a human trafficking survivor to help bring awareness to the issue.
To make a formalwear donation to BCFH, items are gladly accepted at West Clinton Mennonite Church, 18029 Co Rd C, Wauseon, OH during any prom or homecoming event, or they may be dropped off at the church Monday-Fridays from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Wedding parties are also welcomed by appointment.
2023 Prom Spring Event Dates:
The following weekends all long and short dresses, shoes, jewelry, purses, men’s suits, pants, shirts, and ties will be available. BCFH accepts cash and check only.
February 17, 3:30-6:00
February 18, 10:00-1:00
March 3, 3:30-6:00
March 4, 10:00-1:00
March 17, 3:30-6:00
March 18, 10:00-1:00
March 31, 3:30-6:00
April 1, 10:00-1:00
To schedule a meeting or get more information, Lori King may be reached at (419) 822-7379.
Amy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org