What’s In for Prom? A Burlap Dress

In December 2013, Courtney Barich, an 18-year-old at Holy Cross Regional High School in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, found a prom dress she liked — the price tag was $700. She decided not to buy the dress. She said, “We were driving in the car and I felt kind of selfish for how much it cost. My mom said, ‘You would look good in anything, even a garbage bag or a potato sack.’ And the idea kind of grew from there.” Courtney ended up using the prom — and her dress — as a fundraiser for a charity. She said, “I thought my dress should help people who are in need. I decided I don’t need to wear a fancy prom dress.” She set up a website [http://www.courtneysburlapgrad.ca] and promised to wear a burlap dress as her dress to the prom if people would donate money to a charity: the Saint Martin de Porres Orphanage in Manila, Philippines. She said, “I will give up the glitz and glam of a beautiful grad dress and I will wear a Burlap dress to grad [grade 12 prom] instead, if I can get $10,000 in much needed donations to help this orphanage.” In fact, she wore a burlap dress to her prom. Actually, it looked good — designer Suman Faulkner of Lata Design designed the burlap gown for her. Ms. Faulkner said, “For a teenager, the prom is almost like a first wedding. So for her to want to do this, it just touched my heart.” The dress she designed is a white fitted one-strap burlap gown decorated with small pink and yellow embroidered flowers. Ms. Faulkner said, “Actually, I am very allergic to burlap. So I would work for a little then walk away, then work a little more. It took me longer than it normally would.” Courtney said, “I loved it. It was better than I thought it was going to turn out.” Her mother said, “It’s been a really good learning experience.” In March 2014, Courtney and her fellow students visited the orphanage and built houses. Courtney said, “It was definitely an eye-opener to see all the poverty, from the houses they live in to what they eat. All the kids were walking around with no shoes. It was very sad. I came back grateful.”







Source: Tanyanika Samuels, “Teen raises over $10,000 for charity after keeping vow to wear burlap dress to prom.” TODAY. 17 June 2014


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