‘Very Special Proms’ charity seeks donations after Hempfield flood damages dresses, more | TribLIVE.com

‘Very Special Proms’ charity seeks donations after Hempfield flood damages dresses, more

Renatta Signorini
Volunteer Becca Aqra of Blackridge sorts through donated prom gowns Saturday, April 7, 2019 while helping guests pick their dress through faith-based nonprofit The Celebration of Life. Guests were preparing for the "Very Special Prom 2019" later this month.

Faith-based nonprofit The Celebration of Life, which runs the annual Very Special Prom, is in need of help after flooding in July damaged donated gowns, dress shoes and other items set for sale at a flea market.

Organization volunteer president Tina Rusiski said the items were being stored in the basement of a Hempfield home where a board member lives. Heavy rains in July seeped into the basement, damaging the dresses, bookcases, a nursery dresser, wooden armoires and the jewelry inside of them, she said.

“They just smell bad. … The metal on them are already beginning to rust,” Rusiski said.

Greensburg was one of the hardest-hit areas on July 11, with about 3.5 inches of rain falling in a short time period.

The organization is seeking donations to replenish its supply of new or used goods that can be sold at a flea market Oct. 6 and a storage space, such as a garage or shipping container, to store items. The Celebration of Life also is hoping to have a van donated to transport those items, Rusiski said.

Very Special Prom is an annual event attended by hundreds and The Celebration of Life helps prom-goers who have special needs prepare at no cost. The group accepts prom-related donations year round.

Lost in the flood damage were 50 pairs of men’s and women’s shoes, Rusiski said.

“Our collection was somewhat destroyed in the flood, so I’d like to replace some of that,” she said.

Volunteers are trying to gather items on an emergency basis for the Oct. 6 flea market at Pittsburgh’s Syria Shriners location near Cheswick while searching for a new storage spot, she said.

To make a donation, call 412-513-6438 or email [email protected] For more details about the organization, visit tcolife.org. Prom item donations are acccepted by appointment at a Youngwood church.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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