RIVERVIEW, Florida – Many little girls grow up dreaming of looking like Cinderella on their wedding day. Now, The Regent Event Center in Riverview is helping those dreams come true for frontline medical workers.
Inside The Regent, the ballroom sat empty for much of 2020 as wedding dresses piled up.
“We probably lost 65% of our revenue in 2020,” said CEO Shannon Keil.
Keil was supposed to schedule receptions, but instead she scheduled hospital visits.
“My parents both caught COVID, my dad was in the hospital he actually had pneumonia and he must have had the antibodies so we were pretty worried and then my husband and daughter got it,” said Keil.
Fortunately, all of her family have recovered. Keil now wants to give back to our frontline medical workers the best way she knows how to do it by giving away over 30 new wedding dresses for free. The price of the dresses ranges from $ 600 to $ 3,000.
“Each of these dresses is going to go on a girl who is going to have a story and it’s going to be amazing and we’ve kept her story hostage so I’m ready to let it go,” Keil said.
Keil goes hospital by hospital, looking for appointments of future brides, starting with Brandon Regional.
“If they’ve done something amazing for you or if you’ve seen and observed them doing amazing things, let us help you bless them,” Keil said.
For Shannon, this story comes full circle. She couldn’t afford the wedding dress of her dreams, so her father made it for her.
“So he knew how to sew, so he found a pattern close to a dress I wanted and there was an eight foot train, knots, puffed sleeves and he and my grandma did it for me. “said Keil.
Every dress she donates is a small thank you to the healthcare workers who helped save her father and so many others.
“It’s kind of like a fairy godmother, we can shine and shine, we can give that to them,” Keil said.
To learn more about how to apply and see all the dresses available, visit theregentfl.com or email Keil directly at [email protected]