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Zonta Club Mom Prom a chance to dress up, help charity

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Zonta Club Mom Prom a chance to dress up, help charity

You should have heard the giggling going on at The Costumer Tuesday morning.
Zonta Club Mom Prom a chance to dress up, help charity
Store manager Debbie Mezera at The Costumer in Schenectady on Tuesday helps Wendi Gapczynski-Bekkering add a sash to her gown for the "Mom Prom" YWCA and Zonta Club fundraiser.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson
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You should have heard the giggling going on at The Costumer Tuesday morning.

Prom dress shopping was in full swing at the store, which has a selection of dresses and accessories for rent and some things for sale as well. Brightly colored taffeta and tulle were everywhere, selfies were being snapped and there was talk of high heels, tiaras and gloves.

Those trying on attire were a bit older than the traditional prom dress shopper, but once they slipped into something strapless or sequined, they were 17 again.

Zonta Club of Schenectady’s Mom Prom

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. April 24

WHERE: The Terrace at Water’s Edge, 2 Freemans Bridge Road, Schenectady.

TICKETS: $50 for general admission or $75 to be part of the honorary prom committee. Committee members receive special recognition, a commemorative gift and two drink tickets.

REGISTRATION: Visit schenectadymomprom.eventbrite.com.

“I need a tiara!” announced Wendi Gapczynski-Bekkering, a Zonta Club of Schenectady member and advocacy coordinator for the YWCA. Dressed in a floor-length, strapless, black-and-white gown, she slung a white feather boa over her shoulder and went to the back room to find herself a suitable headpiece.

“I must say this is pretty fabulous,” said Zonta Club member Kristen Holler, grinning as she paraded around in an above-the-knee, hot pink, satin selection.

The dress shopping session was held in preparation for the Zonta Club of Schenectady’s Mom Prom, which will take place from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on April 24, at the Terrace at Water’s Edge in Schenectady. You don’t have to be a mom to go — just female, and over age 21.

The event will benefit the YWCA NorthEastern NY, which offers programs including housing for homeless and very low-income women, a domestic violence shelter, counseling, education programs and employment services.

The fourth annual Mom Prom promises to be way more fun than any high school prom, according to organizers.

“It’s a ladies night only, so you’re not impressing anybody. You’re just there to have fun, kick back. You don’t have to sneak in your booze,” joked Holler. “It’s just a fun night out and you’re doing something good for other people, rather than just worrying about, ‘What do I look like?’ ”

Attendees are encouraged to wear dancing shoes, along with an old prom dress or bridesmaid dress, a thrift store find, or whatever’s comfortable.

There will be a contest for the best dress and the tackiest one, as well as a dance-off.

The Costumer is donating the use of prom attire for three YWCA employees and is offering 10 percent off on sales and rentals to everyone attending the Mom Prom, said manager Debbie Mezera. Available is everything from a full outfit to a simple strand of pearls.

“I actually had the thought of going in a tuxedo. Anybody remember that Celine Dion backwards tuxedo?” asked Holler as she rummaged through the racks at The Costumer. She recalled the “very orange” fake tan she sported for her junior prom and the way-too-expensive dress she wore to her senior prom.

Delois Ford, case manager for the YWCA, stepped out of the fitting room in a lacy green dress.

“It just brings out the brown in my eyes,” she joked.

Holler suggested adding a sash.

“Someone get me tea, please,” Ford requested, taking in her reflection.

Kim Shainberg, advocate supervisor for the YWCA, tried on dresses in hot pink, eggplant and sage green. Then there was the short, wide, satiny blue one.

“I love the bow,” teased Gapczynski-Bekkering.

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