By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
As a mother of three sons, the last thing Lori King thought she would be organizing would be an event matching teenage girls with prom dresses.
But that’s exactly what King is doing and is preparing for Homecoming Dress/Beauty Comes From The Heart, set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 10 at the West Clinton Mennonite Church, 10829 CR C in Wauseon.
“It is amazing that God has called me, a mother of three grown sons to do a ministry for young ladies,” King said. It’s funny since she has no idea about young ladies and their tastes and wants, but she’s become a quick study.“I’m learning what the young ladies like and that each one is unique in what their style might be.
King said she was prompted by God to do an event for young ladies needing prom dresses in February 2013. The first event was put together in less than a month, it was held one day after school in March.
Fifteen young ladies attended and 12 dresses were taken for prom or a special occasion.
“Last year I was contacted by a mother from Sherwood asking if I would consider opening up for fall homecoming (short dresses) so that her two daughters could come look at them,” King said. ”I replied that I never thought about this because my three sons had gone to Pettisville High School and we had a winter homecoming during basketball season.
“So I opened up on Sept. 12, 2015, and 26 young ladies attended and 18 dresses were found.”
King then met with anyone who could not make it to the open house and 14 girls came to look at the dresses and 18 more were taken. From her initial inventory of 92 short dresses and ended with 132 short dresses.
“Many of the young ladies brought dresses to donate so that others might be blessed by a dress, too,” King said. “This year more than 350 short dresses, shoes and jewelry will be available.”
Teens are not limited to only one dress, but King does ask they do not take more than three dresses so that everyone has a chance to find a special dress.
The phenomena the event has become has been a special time for King.
“Prom Trend/Beauty Comes From The Heart has grown in the past four years and I have met so many wonderful people through this event,” King said. “I have made many new friends and this past spring while I was on vacation in Florida, I set up a time to visit one of the young ladies that I have become friends with formally from Continental, Ohio, and has since moved to Florida.”
This past February, Prom Trend/Beauty Comes From The Heart was held for two days and 87 young ladies attended and 77 dresses were found for prom or a special occasion. She opened for another two Saturdays and 33 young women attended and another 49 dresses were taken.
The total of dresses taken from February to mid-August was 171.
The event has grown over the years. The first year only dresses were offered. The second year shoes and a few purses were added.
The third year jewelry was added and this year ties were added…”a tie for your guy” along with a tux, a few shirts, and shoes.
“So everything that you might need for that special night out is available at Beauty Comes From The Heart,” King said. “All items are offered by a donation only and the money collected is donated to two missions, one local, Children’s Lantern of Defiance (Human Trafficking Survivors) and Growing Hope Ministries of Despinos, Haiti.
“If you cannot donate all items are free.”
Donations of any of the listed items are accepted year round by contacting King at 419-822-7379 or by joining the Facebook group page and messaging her.
“Your donations will help others to ‘Be Blessed By a Dress,’”
During the Prom Trend event there are hairstylists, makeup samples, prom ideas and people doing nails.
“It’s just a fun filled time with over 600-plus long and short dresses offered, along with shoes, purses, wraps, jewelry and men’s items, ties, suits, shirts, shoes and pants.
James Pruitt may be reached at