Instead of sleeping in Saturday morning, students at Brookville High School transformed their cafeteria into a go-to prom shop to help girls find their dream dresses.

The free event offered students a chance not only to shop but to sell their new or gently used dresses, shoes and jewelry.

Guidance counselor Kerry Bowles said she and science teacher Sarah Davis decided to put on the event after realizing how much money is spent on prom dresses that just sit in closets later.

“I’m all about saving money,” Bowles said. “Last year, we literally had people waiting outside.”

Saturday’s event wasn’t just a sale — it was a way to give back.

“We donated dresses to a group of girls that couldn’t afford them,” Bowles said.

The sale, which also was held last year, raised money for the Brookville High School Mentors, a group of 11th- and 12th-graders who work to represent the high school in a positive way. The group raises money for various causes such as anti-bullying efforts and suicide prevention.

Though Bowles and Davis supervise, it’s the students who mostly plan the event. Dressed in black and armed with walkie-talkies, students ran through the halls directing shoppers and making sure the event ran smoothly.

This year, the students hosted a fashion show as a way to advertise the dresses.

“The kids asked me if they could do it,” Bowles said. “I told them if they can make it happen they could. I’m all about trying to empower them.”

During the show, girls twirled in dresses and guys in tuxedos escorted them across the stage. Announcers remarked on each dress.

Senior Katie White helped spearhead the show along with many of the other Mentors.

“We had this idea [for the show],” she said. “A lot of our classmates were models. They thought it was a great idea. It worked out great.”

Though White said she already has her dress, she did find something else at the sale that caught her eye.

“I think I found some shoes,” she said.

Fellow senior Reagan Steele, who helped with the event last year, handed out shift assignments, made flyers and helped head the event.

“This year we have a lot more dresses,” she said.

According to Steele, more than 20 dresses had sold as the four-hour event went into its last hour.

Junior Abby Brown called herself Steele’s “right-hand man” during the whole planning process.

“We worked on it every day in class,” she said. “I missed a couple classes to help set up.”

Brown said planning the event gave her a new appreciation for event planning now that she’s worked behind the scenes.

And her favorite part?

Brown said she loved seeing girls come out with their new dresses.

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