AUBURN — It’s prom season. How many gowns are hanging in your closet?

An Auburn organization is looking for donated gowns, dresses and accessories for its first “Fairy Godmother Prom Gown Giveaway” on April 19.

The Woman’s Literary Union of Androscoggin County, which makes its home in the beautiful Foss Mansion, is hosting the event to help girls afford to go to their high school proms.

Unlike other prom gown giveaways, this one will be in the 1917 Federal Revival Style historic mansion, giving the affair a regal, upscale atmosphere.

“We want it to be like a salon experience,” said literacy union spokeswoman Denise Scammon. It won’t be like a bargain basement or a gym with set-up dividers. Donated gowns will be displayed in a second-floor room. “Master bathrooms are very large and will act as dressing rooms,” Scammon said.

The goal of the literacy union is to promote the intellectual, educational and cultural advancement of the community, she said. “What better way than to help young women who might want to go to the prom but might not be able to afford a gown.”


The organization hopes it will receive 50 new or gently worn gowns, plus accessories such as necklaces, shawls and purses.

The event is open to girls from local high schools. Lewiston and Edward Little High School will hold their proms May 17. St. Dominic Academy’s prom is May 10.

Some mothers have multiple prom dresses in their closets that their adult daughters left behind. “And there’s little chance they’re going to wear them again,” Scammon said. “This morning I heard one mother say to her adult daughter, ‘If you don’t come and get your gowns out of that closet I’m going to donate them.’” The mother proceeded to give away 10 bridesmaids and three prom gowns, Scammon said.

“We’re hoping we come across more people like that,” she said.

The deadline to donate gowns, dresses and accessories is April 18. For more information, call Scammon at 753-0931, or email her at [email protected]

The Fairy Godmother Prom Gown Giveaway will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19. There is no charge.


It isn’t a fundraiser, “it’s a friend raiser” for the organization, Scammon said. “A lot of these young women who will come into Foss Mansion may never have been exposed to it.” She expects they, like many who enter, will be wowed.

On that day, literary union members will be decorating for the popular April 26-27 Mother-Daughter Doll Tea. “They will see a busy crew in the house,” Scammon said.

Lewiston High School Assistant Principal JoAnne Dowd called the event a great idea.

“Some girls would appreciate the opportunity to get a prom gown that they otherwise could not afford,” she said. Proms are still popular with students.

“Here at Lewiston there’s a healthy level of excitement about it,” Dowd said. “It’s a good, fun event.”

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