News: Gown Giveaway Draws Military Masses
Story by Pfc. Raquel Barraza
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Finding the perfect dress for any special occasion can be time consuming and expensive. Fortunately for hundreds of Marines and spouses here, they do not need to worry about that this year.
Marine Corps Community Service and Robbins Brothers hosted a Bridal and Ball Gown Giveaway at the officer’s club here, Sept. 23.
This is an annual event where MCCS and Robbins Brothers give free bridal or ball gowns to spouses of service members. Attendees were offered a selection of more than 600 dresses and only a certain amount of time per 20 people to find a gown.
“Spouses and family members have twenty minutes to try on and pick a gown from our selection and if they do not find one they have to wait in the line until they can come through again,” said Jessica James, Lifestyle Insights Networking Knowledge and Skills trainer with Marine and Family Services and a La Grange, Texas, native. “It’s first come, first serve.”
Many Marines accompanied their spouses to find the perfect dress.
“I’m here for her,” said Sgt. Thompson Winfield, an aviation ordnance technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 and a Charlotte, N.C., native. “I just came to keep my wife company. I’m doing this for her, and she is enjoying herself very much. I think these events are great for Marines and their families.”
With the financial stresses of just starting out as a family and paying bills, events such as the giveaway can help lift the financial burden of purchasing expensive gowns for important ceremonies, according to Erika Thompson, a Marine spouse and an El Paso, Texas, native. “Times are hard you know with kids, so it’s good to come to an event and get a dress and other things for no money,” added Thompson.
The event also offered raffles and giveaways for jewelry, shoes and cosmetics.
By the end of the event, many Marines and spouses left ready for the the next special occasion on their calendar.