The Union Recorder

February 28, 2013

Sequins & Smiles prepares for upcoming spring show

Felicia Cummings
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — With prom just around the corner for most area schools, a local non-profit seeks to find just the right dress for those in need. 

Sequins & Smiles is a non-profit organization that led by students at Georgia College. 

“We strive to provide young ladies with formal attire to wear to any school or community sponsored formal event,” said organization member Anna Lopez Ratouis. Dresses and accessories are donated by students on campus and by organizations within the community. 

The organization started about 10 years ago. Its mission is to serve all middle Georgia high school students by providing formal attire and participating in character development through mentor relationships and community service.

“Our main goal is to offer young women in Milledgeville a chance to access formal wear they might normally not be able to afford,” Ratouis said.

Local girls who cannot afford to buy a prom dress or other formal wear are eligible to make use of the inventory. The Sequins & Smiles closet is housed at Baldwin High School. In order to view the closet, the young women must make contact with a closet manager. A representative is on the high school campus periodically through ‘Table Talks.’

“This year we started Table Talks in which we set up a table and any student who is interested gets an opportunity to leave us their contact information and are invited to come to our Dine Like a Diva event,” said Ratouis.

The next ‘Dine Like a Diva’ program will be March 7 in which the group will offer food and refreshments as well as a chance for girls to view the dressing room and make appointments.

In addition to formal wear and accessories, Sequins & Smiles also seeks to provide mentoring support to the young women who receive the dresses. This added support is done through various programs held by the organization. One mentoring opportunity that is fast approaching is the annual spring show held March 14 at 5 p.m. The annual spring show is an opportunity for young women to view the dresses in the inventory while experiencing the positive influences of Sequins & Smiles.

“A girl from Georgia College will model the dresses and students from Baldwin High School who showed interest will be invited to attend and possibly invite their friends as well,” Ratouis said. 

After the show, mentors will be available in another event called Sequins & Styles. At this event, an Avon representative will teach the girls makeup techniques, offer skin care advice, and provide them with emergency kits for prom.

For more information email Ratouis at anna.lopezratouis@gmail.com or find the organization on Facebook. 

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