From left, Lakeland High School juniors Kelsey Vasser, Alexus Copeland and Alexis Wingate show off some of the formal dresses they collected to send to a school in rural North Carolina.
From left, Lakeland High School juniors Kelsey Vasser, Alexus Copeland and Alexis Wingate show off some of the formal dresses they collected to send to a school in rural North Carolina.

Archived Story

Dressing up

Published 10:50pm Thursday, March 14, 2013

Three juniors at Lakeland High School dug deep into their closets, asked their friends and relatives and neighbors and church members, posted on Facebook and more to complete their latest service project.

Alexus Copeland, Alexis Wingate and Kelsey Vasser amassed a collection of 23 formal dresses to donate to The Crossnore School, a residential K-12 school in rural North Carolina for children who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to live at home.

“We all had leftover dresses,” Copeland said. “We’re going to prom this year, and we would like other people to have fun and not hold back just because they don’t have a dress.”

Virginia’s Daughters of the American Revolution junior chapter is collecting all the dresses to take to the school. DAR and The Crossnore School have a longstanding relationship of support, according to the school’s website.

Constantia DAR Chapter Regent Faye Sobel talked to her friend India Meissel, a history teacher at Lakeland High School. Meissel passed the request along to Catherine Williams, the service-learning teacher, Vasser said.

“As soon as I posted it, these three said, ‘We want to do it,’” Williams said, adding they had been collecting dresses for a couple months. “We are very proud of them.”

The girls used any means necessary to obtain the dresses, whether it meant digging into their own closets, knocking on neighbors’ doors or receiving packages in the mail after requesting them from far-flung family by way of social media. They also made announcements and put up fliers at school.

“We wanted them to have the experience we had,” Wingate said.

The girls will be able to count the hours they spent completing the project toward their 70 hours required for the service-learning class and the 100 hours some are shooting for to obtain the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

DAR members were overwhelmed by the response.

“I was thinking three, maybe four dresses when I came to pick them up,” said Linda Kennedy, a DAR Constantia chapter member. “I was amazed.”

The DAR presented the students with Certificates of Appreciation for Outstanding Community Service to show its thanks for the hard work the students put in to collect the dresses.

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