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St. Lawrence University students model prom gowns to raise money

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CANTON — While many were gearing up for the biggest football game of the year, 25 St. Lawrence University students spent their Sunday reliving the day of their prom.

Rhinestones, sequins, sparkling jewelry and shimmery makeup had the darkened banquet room at the Best Western University Inn glittering.

The SLU students strutted down the runner, each showing off a variety of prom dresses from Sposa Bella, 81 Main St.

It was the first prom runway show the bridal shop has hosted, but with a standing-room-only audience, co-owner Erin S. Alguire said, it probably won’t be the last.

“It’s a full house,” co-owner Michele R. Scanlin said. “We had to bring out more chairs.”

Ms. Alguire said the students were all members of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. “Their philanthropic interest is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is something that my grandmother holds dear to her heart, so it just worked out perfectly,” she said.

In exchange for modeling the gowns, the students had a donation jar at the door to raise money for St. Jude.

“It’s fun being older and doing all of this, especially since it’s for a good cause,” said Sarah E.S. Bent, a junior.

With 60 dresses to show and only 25 models, it was a chaotic rush to come off the white carpet, take off one gown and put on another.

“Each of us gets to wear two or three dresses,” sophomore Grace A. Lennon said. “We went in for a fitting last week and they let us pick whatever dresses we wanted to wear.”

Ms. Alguire said it was a two-week preparation process.

“We’ve done a ton of fittings,” she said. “It’s been two weeks’ worth of blood, sweat and tears and a lot of hours, but it’s a lot of fun. This is what we love and I hope the girls had a good time.”

Ms. Scanlin said they like to do business locally and they’ve worked with the Best Western in the past. “We wanted to have it in Canton,” she said.

Ms. Alguire said she’ll start selling the dresses from the show Tuesday. “Girls start shopping for prom as early as November now, it seems,” she said. “It’s a fun, colorful event that might brighten up a little winter and kick start the season with a bang.”

The students arrived at the hotel at 11 a.m. Sunday to get their hair and makeup done by employees of Today’s Hair and Day Spa, Potsdam.

“I never had a prom like this,” said sophomore Carly J. Berizzi. “For my prom I never got my hair and makeup done.”

Ms. Alguire said they also gave away $650 worth of merchandise that included a prom dress, jewelry and hair and makeup certificates to Today’s Hair.

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