ROOTSTOWN, Ohio — The forecast may not feel like it, but prom season is not far away.
Going to the big dance comes with a big prices when you factor in the hair, jewelry, shoes, dinner, and of course, the dress.
But organizers of an event in Portage County want to help girls find their perfect dresses for free.
Prom On Us, put on by Do Something Ministries through Community Bible Church in Rootstown, takes place Saturday, March 11 in Cook Hall at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). The address is 4211 State Route 44 in Rootstown.
About 400 donated dresses in all colors and sizes will be on display. Girls from Northeast Ohio are invited to try on and take home a dress at no cost.
"We have dresses from size zero to 28. We have ball gowns. We have the mermaids. We have straight-column dresses. We have short dresses, mid-length dresses," said Coordinator, Vickie Smith. "We also have every color you can imagine: red, pink, white, purple, orange. We have a huge variety."
News 5 met Smith around this time last year. She said a Prom On Us story that aired in 2022 generated a lot of interest across the region.
"Last year was the best year we've ever had. After you did the news story on us last year, we noticed that we had people coming from Ashtabula, Cleveland, all over the place," Smith said.
RELATED: Rootstown church giving away 400 prom dresses
Smith is hoping for an even larger turnout this year. She doesn't want the high cost of prom to be a deterrent from attending the milestone event.
Rootstown twin sisters, Maggie and Gracie Frick, got a chance to check out some of the dresses early and are planning to return to the Saturday event.
"Some people don't go to prom because they're not going to be able to afford as good of a dress as like the kid down the street or something," Gracie said. "Being able to gain access to a dress like this saves money, makes it easier for them to participate."
Maggie said getting the chance to try on multiple styles of dresses is fun.
"When you pick out a dress that really suits you, you feel pretty. You feel fun and happy. It's just a whole elevated experience," Maggie said.
Organizers didn't forget about the boys. There will be free sport coats, ties, shoes and pants on hand.
In addition, the kids will receive five free raffle tickets with a chance to win things like prom hairdos, corsages and gift cards to restaurants, movie theaters and bowling alleys.
Another free dress event will be hosted in Akron this weekend. This year's Princess Night Project will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kohl Family YMCA, located at 477 East Market St., Akron, Ohio, 44304.
Watch live and local news any time:
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.
You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.