Mint Hill woman helps make prom happen

Prom isn’t just about a fun night with your friends – for girls, it’s also about finding the perfect dress. And The Closet Ministry will help nearly 100 girls do that this year.

Tara Gibson (above) hopes to help more than 100 girls find the perfect prom dress.

Tara Gibson (above) hopes to help more than 100 girls find the perfect prom dress.

The Closet Ministry’s Prom Closet event has provided prom dresses to young girls for nearly five years in the Matthews-Mint Hill area. This year’s event will help girls find dresses, jewelry and shoes for prom, while also providing a motivational message from a leader in the community, as Turning Point Domestic Violence Shelter’s Executive Director Naomi Herndon will speak to them during the

“This event is totally different than the ones you hear about on the radio,” event organizer Tara Gibson, of Mint Hill, said. “… We have a guest speaker who comes and speaks to the girls. Once the girls find the dress they want, they are encouraged to keep their dress on and go pick out their shoes and jewelry and go over to the hair and makeup artists and have their picture taken.”

This year’s Prom Closet event will take place on March 15, a Saturday, at Southbrook Church at 5607 Monroe-Weddington Road in Weddington from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Photos taken after the girls are pampered will be mailed to them following the Prom Closet event.

The organization still needs dress donations and will accept dresses, shoes and jewelry up to the day of the event when doors open. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the event, and one girl will receive a grand prize. Last year’s grand prize was a $100 Visa gift card, Gibson

The event saw 80 girls attend last year, and organizers hope to find the perfect dress for even more people this year – there is no cap on the number of girls who can attend, though registration is required. Only women are allowed to attend, and someone must accompany all girls younger than 18. That can be a parent, other family member or friend. There are no financial requirements to participate in the event.

“You didn’t do it for one specific person, and we don’t do it for any type of recognition at all,” Gibson, who works for the Mint Hill Police Department, said. “… We can’t help everybody, but we will help anyone who shows up with anything that we can.”

Girls who want to attend Prom Closet with their friends and shop together can register in groups, as well.

While everyone attending Prom Closet may not be dependent on the event in order to go to prom, Gibson said there are always some who really appreciate the event and otherwise could not experience their high school prom.

“It’s always a very positive experience for everyone that attends,” Gibson said. “Our guest speaker usually makes a very big impact on the girls and the parents that come with them. We have parents who are there that cry during the entire event because they are so thankful that there is some kind of organization that can help

The Closet Ministry decided to start Prom Closet after hearing a number of requests for prom attire during its quarterly shopping events. The Closet Ministry is located in Monroe and services people in Mecklenburg, Union and the surrounding counties. There also are six other locations for The Closet Ministry – three in South Carolina and one each in Alabama, Texas and Illinois.

“We want all of the girls to know they are beautiful on the inside and out,” Gibson said.

Find more information and register to attend the Prom Closet event at


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