By TYLER B. JONES, The Commercial Dispatch
STARKVILLE, Mississippi (AP) – Before women choose their wedding dresses, they first choose their prom dresses.
While prom season is an exciting time for many young girls, Starkville resident Amy Weaver Ragon knows the financial stress of buying a dress can be difficult for some. In order to ensure that all prom-age girls will have something to wear, Ragon created the nonprofit, The Straightened Crown Foundation, to give them their fairytale moment.
“No one needs to wonder if he’ll be able to go to the ball,” Ragon said. “We just want something magical to happen for them.”
By the time Ragon’s daughter Kaitlyn graduated from high school, she had acquired nearly a dozen dresses at formal events, such as contests, reunions, and a prom, all through throughout his stay at school. Ragon wanted to find a way to donate these dresses to someone else who could benefit from them, but she didn’t know where to go or who to contact.
After considering different ministries in the area, she decided to create The Straightened Crown, not only for young girls to have ball gowns, but as a place where others can donate their formal wear for more. great cause.
“We had about 10 dresses that we just didn’t know what to do with,” Ragon said. “… Well, we kept saying, ‘I wish there was an organization that we could just give them to,” and we decided that we could be that organization. “
Ragon and her daughter started The Straightened Crown in March and said they were “blown away” by the donations.
Ragon has received more than 160 dresses and said she hopes to receive more before the prom season in the spring.
“As soon as we started it and spread the word, tons of people donated dresses,” Ragon said.
Because The Straightened Crown only started this year, Ragon and her team didn’t see what a prom season looks like for their organization, but said she was thrilled to know the girls would be going to the prom. and “can’t wait to see the excitement on their faces” when choosing dresses.
“This is really our first rodeo,” said Ragon. “We have no idea how it’s going to go, but we are really hopeful about the ball season.”
As well as being the president of The Straightened Crown, Ragon is also its tailor. As a third-generation seamstress, Ragon said she plans to undertake any modifications anyone might need.
Ragon said she will always find time to devote to The Straightened Crown. Working full-time at Mississippi State University and owning his own cake and cookie business, Ragon is busy but still finds time to get involved in his cause.
She said she hopes to create other initiatives in the future to use the dresses she receives. Several convalescent homes have already contacted her about a possible “fashion show” to celebrate the women graduating from their programs.
“They want to have an evening where we pamper the ladies and have a fashion show,” Ragon said. “We would just let the ladies borrow dresses for the night, let them wear them and just celebrate this time in their life and make them feel special.”
In addition to providing dresses, Ragon said she wanted to find a bigger focus within her organization. When the girls come to try on clothes, she said she hoped she could serve them and teach them God’s love for all. While she wants to ensure that young women have this defining moment in their lives, being able to witness to others is her mission not only within this organization, but in life.
“We just want every girl to know that she is special, to know that she is loved by God,” Ragon said. “They are very meaningful in this world… It makes the connection more meaningful than just helping someone find a dress.”
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