FPS staff report
April 24, 2012
|Beth Williams is shown above with three of the over 1,000 dresses at Becca’s Closet.
Rebecca Kirtman felt no one should miss a high school event because they couldn’t afford to be there.
She launched a dress drive during her freshman year in high school to provide prom dresses free to high school students who could not afford them. The following year, she continued her drive. After she was killed in an automobile accident in 2003, her family and friends have kept her dream alive. Becca’s Closet is her legacy.
St. Paul’s Church of Christ, 306 W. Church St., East Canton, is home to the only Becca’s Closet in Ohio. Beth Williams, who manages Becca’s Closet, said the daughter of a church member was housing dresses in her beauty salon for girls who couldn’t afford one. Due to the business being for profit, she was not able to establish the Becca’s Closet at that location. Williams worked at East Canton High School before retiring and was familiar with the students.
“Elaine Painting was responsible for getting our chapter started,” explained Williams. “We now have over 1,000 dresses to choose from.” When they moved the dresses to the church, they had collected around 250 dresses. Williams was contacted by a representative from “Prom to Remember,” an organization which provides a prom for teens stricken with cancer. A store area in Tower City was donated to house the dresses, make-up, shoes and jewelry for the event. When the event was done, there were over 700 dresses untouched.
The representative asked Williams if they would accept the remaining dresses. “They delivered the dresses on hangers, bagged by sizes,” explained Williams. “Many of the dresses still have the store tags on them.”
Dresses range from size 0 to 22, are various colors, lengths, and styles. Girls can choose from princess-type taffeta, form fitting, strapless, long or short. A small selection of shoes, jewelry and new undergarments are also available.
Last year, Williams had 38 dresses redeemed and 10 have been selected this year. She noted more students are scheduled to view the dresses.
“You feel so good when a student finds a dress and is happy with it,” she said. “Especially when you know without Becca’s Closet they wouldn’t be going to the event.”
Dresses are available to teenage students from the surrounding area for prom, homecoming or banquet events. Donations of new or gently used formal attire will be accepted and a tax-deductible receipt given. Williams said while they have a large selection of dresses, plus size items are limited.
To make a donation or to schedule an appointment, contact Beth Williams at 330-844-4127 or through the church at 330-488-0189.
For more information on Becca’s Closet, visit www.beccascloset.org.