Say Yes to the Dress


Patty’s Closet makes affordable prom clothes available

By Hannah Johnson, Current Staff

Many high schoolers may be surprised to find that The Three R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) don’t only apply to the environment, but also prom dress shopping.

On April 30, Patty’s Closet started its annual prom attire sale before school and during lunch periods near the auditorium doors. These dresses and tuxes are donated by students and families for those who are looking for an affordable outfit for prom. The attire rents for $10 for the night and donations to Patty’s Closet are also accepted. The sale ends Monday, May 5, and prom is on May 17.

“It’s beautiful and it’s fashion,” said Inga Bunzel of the past dresses she has worn to dances from Patty’s Closet.

“Yes, we love to reuse and recycle, don’t we Inga?,” said Dawn Goralski, a special education aide. Inga replied with a big high five.

Goralski created Patty’s Closet after Patty Brown’s death in 2005. Brown was a teacher in the special education department.

“I started working with Patty and supervising dances with her. Five years before her death we [supervised] together. She was an inspiration and a teacher that I want to be like,” Goralski said.

Because of Goralski’s ambition, WBHS students have the opportunity to look amazing at school functions while renting attire for a price of $10. Patty’s Closet is also open to anyone looking for a prom dress or tuxedo at a great price.

“If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, you are able to get what you need here.”
– Dawn Goralski, special education aide

According to USA Today, families will spend up to $1,139 on prom this year. A large portion of this cost is the prom dress. Bridal stores in the Milwaukee area sell prom dresses ranging from $150-$580.

“If you don’t want to spend a ton of money on an outfit for one night, you are able to get what you need here,” said Goralski.

Patty’s Closet also teamed up with the school’s WORKS program for the process of the sale. WORKS helps special education students make the transfer from school to work. The sale teaches the students how to organize and sell items. “It’s a win-win,” Goralski said.

All extra donations help pay for tickets and transportation to send the kids to the dance.

“Patty implemented taking the special education kids. Years ago the kids didn’t go because there was no supervisor for them,” Goralski said.

Brown was a very special teacher for the kids who lost her fight to cancer in 2005. Now, not only is Patty’s Closet named after her, but Patty’s Kids is, too. Patty’s Kids is the group of special education students that Goralski and other teachers continue to teach and chaperone at dances.

“I wanted to continue in her honor,” said Goralski.

(Photographs by Hannah Johnson, Current Staff.)


1 Comment

Filed under School News and Features

One response to “Say Yes to the Dress

  1. J. Curler

    This is a wonderful idea and a wonderful tribute to an amazing educator.

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