Amy Cunningham
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It might be a little early to think about the high school prom, but volunteers at the Brent Bays Foundation are hoping you’ll keep their prom-season fundraiser in mind while you do a little early spring cleaning.
The group plans to host a prom dress sale at FirstLight in downtown Gardner on Saturday, March 5, but first they must stock their store with gently used merchandise.  That, according to organizers, is where you come in. The group will be accepting dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessory donations to be sold in their one-day fundraising sale.
“We just need any and all dresses,” said Maggie Truitt, one of the organizers.  “People have such different tastes and, of course, sizes and you never know what people will like.”
Dena Ranz, also a volunteer, said that the group’s mission is twofold; helping the Brent Bays Foundation raise much needed funding used to assist area families dealing with a cancer diagnosis and, at the same time, offering an inexpensive alternative to high school girls looking for a prom dress and accessories.
“This sale will help girls find a cheap dress to wear to the prom, so instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a gown they’ll wear for just a few hours, they can buy one of our dresses that will be priced between $20 and $50,” Ranz said. She also said that, most likely, dresses featured in the sale would be one-of-a-kind pieces.
“I think that there are a lot of different styles out there and a lot of personalities,” said Ranz, “but the main thing is you don’t want to show up at prom with the same dress as another girl, and (shoppers) won’t have to worry about that when they buy from us. It’s not like (shopping at a mall store) where they have hundreds of the same dress.”
The organization has achieved 501C3 status, so any donations may be written off on taxes.
Donations may be made to:  Dena Ranz at (913)602-4198 or Maggie Truitt at (913)787-3011.  The group may also be contacted on their Web site at
The Brent Bays Foundation is an organization of volunteers whose purpose is to raise money for individuals in and around the Gardner area who have been financially impacted by a battle with cancer.
“I think that every family who is facing cancer winds up in a position where they need money for food, rent, mortgage, clothes – those types of needs,” Truitt said.
Added Ranz, “All the money goes to receipents from the Gardner area, so all the money donated stays local.”