Erin Sam displays a few of the armloads of dresses she'll be offering at pop-up sales on Feb. 26 and March 12 at Nyssa High School. (Submitted photo)

NYSSA – A fundraiser for the Nyssa High School junior-senior prom is giving girls a chance to buy fancy prom dresses at very good price – $50 to $60.

The Prom Dress Pop-Up will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, and again on Saturday, March 12, in the commons at Nyssa High School.

Janice Simpson, who works at Nyssa Middle School and is the prom advisor for the high school, said this opportunity is great for local families who have been challenged by the pandemic economy the past two years.

“For our area, it’s really hard to afford a $200 dress,” she said.

The sale idea arose when Erin Sam reached out to Simpson. Sam owns the Silvern Vixen, which sells vintage and new clothing online and in a mobile boutique at special events.

Thanks to generous donations, Sam found herself with an overflowing inventory of new prom-style dresses – a bounty in all sizes, colors and styles. While she could hold on to the gowns and try to gradually sell them – probably for more money – Sam saw an opportunity to use them in a way that would help the community.

“I thought it would be great get these dresses into the hands of girls who might not be able to afford them otherwise,” Sam said.

She’d seen something similar to this on a TV program, and suggested the pop-up sale.

In addition to selling new dresses at bargain prices, Sam plans to donate a percentage of the sales to the Nyssa prom committee.

Simpson said the student group has been selling nuts at the basketball games and doing other fundraisers toward a $2,000 goal. The money is needed to cover costs for a DJ, invitations and tickets, and other special touches for the dance.

Sam also plans to bring shoes and accessories to the pop-up sale.

In the bling department, Simpson said Betsy Nelson of New Plymouth will offer a selection of Paparazzi costume jewelry at the sale.

The event is intended to help the Nyssa students, but Simpson noted there are a lot of other girls in the county who would benefit, and they are welcome to come and shop, too.

Meantime, the Care-O-Sell Consignment shop in Ontario also is offering affordable options for prom attire, for both girls and boys.

Chris Kodama, owner, said she has prom dresses available year-round, and shoppers will find much better prices at her store than in the big retail stores.

“We get some $400 dresses that I sell for maybe a hundred,” she said.

Care-O-Sell also offers Jim’s Formal Wear for the boys, by order only. They can rent full tuxedos or just parts of the ensemble, she said.

But they need to get their orders in soon, she noted.

Prom season for the Treasure Valley starts April 2, in New Plymouth. Other dates on the school calendars include: Ontario on April 9, Adrian on April 16, Vale on April 23 and Nyssa on May 7.

Kodama said it’s great to have the school prom season back on track after a couple of difficult years.

“The girls have so much fun when they come in to try on the dresses,” she said.

Simpson said the Nyssa students are excited about the event. Last year’s Nyssa prom, which was held outdoors due to pandemic concerns, drew about 75 students. This year, she expects a bigger turnout for a more traditional indoor event.

EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM - Available for $5 a month. Subscribe to the digital service of the Enterprise and get the very best in local journalism. We report with care, attention to accuracy, and an unwavering devotion to fairness. Get the kind of news you’ve been looking for - day in and day out from the Enterprise.