Ann Edwards, left, of Leeds steams dresses for Kerrielynn Langlois, center, and Katelyn Fairbrother during the Fairy Godmother Gown Giveaway at the Woman’s Literary Union in Auburn on Saturday. Langlois and Fairbrother are juniors at Lewiston High School and will attend their school prom on May 4. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

AUBURN — Dresses, shoes, accessories. All formal, all free.

That was the scene Saturday at the Woman’s Literary Union’s Fairy Godmother Gown Giveaway, which took place for the sixth year at the Foss Mansion to provide formal dresses to girls attending prom, homecoming, graduation or other important events.

The girls could take home a long dress and a short dress. Girls who came were also entered into a raffle to win a full makeover at the Beauty Bar, jewelry and flowers donated by Anne’s Flower Shop, and an updo by Additions and Subtractions.

Lewiston Alternative Education sophomore Capri Choiniere, 16, found the dress that she will wear May 4 to the Lewiston High School prom. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

“If you got a dress this year, we ask you to clean it and return it, so we can pay it forward. We request donations, but it’s not required,” said Doreen Jordan, vice president of the Woman’s Literary Union.

The Beauty Bar also donated dresses to the event, as did Day’s Jewelers and many individuals.

“I got a short dress, and this long dress is going to get altered, and I’m trying on these shoes right now,” said Savannah Landry from Edward Little High School. “You can never have too many extra dresses.”

Attendance appeared to be down this year over previous years, according to Jordan, a disappointment given the nearly 500 dresses the group had available.

Oak Hill High School sophomore Makiya Culp found a dress during the Fairy Godmother Gown Giveaway at the Woman’s Literary Union in Auburn on Saturday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Those who came wandered through the various rooms in the upstairs of the mansion, trying on dresses, and twirling in front of mirrors.

“I like that it’s yellow and really poofy,” said Nina Tucker, a sophomore at Lewiston High School, who decided on one of the vintage-style dresses.

“Just keep trying one on ’til you find one you like,” Florrie Mileikis, a Literary Union member, told the girls browsing the racks. She had volunteered at the event in years past and had heard stories of girls who otherwise couldn’t have gone to prom because of the high cost of gowns.

“Oh, look at this! It’s like a perfect fit,” Mileikis told one of the girls who tried on a pink gown.

For those dresses that needed alterations, though, there were seamstresses on hand to do quick fixes.

“And now, accessories!” said Paola Ducharme, who attends Gray-New Gloucester High School, after finding a dress to take home.

“That’s also important,” said her mother, Penny Ducharme. Formal shoes, handbags and jewelry were available for the taking.

A Lewiston High School junior holds her dress while waiting to have it steamed during the Fairy Godmother Gown Giveaway at the Woman’s Literary Union in Auburn on Saturday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Raquel Ganhao brought four girls to the event.

“This is our first year coming,” she said, and the girls were finding many dresses they liked.

“All these dresses are so gorgeous! You guys are gonna be the life of the party!” Literary Union member Ann Edwards of Leeds told a couple of girls, as she steamed the wrinkles out of their dresses before they got bagged up and taken home.

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