Sherburne County 4-H is launching its second annual prom dress sale for young ladies looking for formal dresses. The sale will provide an affordable alternative to buying new dresses with off-the-rack prices. All dresses will be $30 or less. Sherburne County 4-H Coordinator Joe Rand says the sale has a dual-purpose. “It’s a community service and a fundraiser at the same time,” he says. “It’s something fun that the girls in 4-H can latch onto, but it also teaches them that there are lots of girls here in Sherburne County who can’t afford to spend $300 on a prom dress.” Rand started the program locally last year. He got the idea from a friend who worked as a program coordinator in Anoka County. “They stared doing it five years ago,” he says. “I stole the idea and tried it a couple times in a church where I worked.” Last year, the 4-H sale had 85 dresses. About 50 people showed up at the sale and 35 were sold. “We made some money last year, but I think the better experience was the girls working with the public, learning about how expensive prom really is,” says Rand. “Some spend hundreds of dollars on it. But that’s not the reality for a lot of people. This is a great option for them - $30 or less is affordable.” This year’s sale will be much bigger than last year. In addition to the dresses that weren’t sold last year, lots of people stepped up and donated more this time around. Sharon Robinson from Big Lake, who has held dress sales in the past, has donated 150 dresses she received from the St. Cloud and Maple Grove areas. “So we should definitely have well over 200, closer to 250,” says Rand. “And lots of them are new.” Most of the dresses have been dry cleaned. Rand says he’s been working with Coborn’s in Big Lake to see if they will do donations of dry cleaning for the girls who buy dresses. The sale will also feature shoes, shawls, purses and other accessories. And Fantastic Sam’s in Elk River has donated two free up-do’s that will be raffled off. The sale will take place Saturday, March 9 from 8 a.m. until noon at the Maple Room in the Sherburne County Government Center. Those wishing to donate items should contact Rand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-765-3077 to arrange for a pick-up or drop-off. Donations are tax-deductible. Proceeds from the sale go for scholarships for 4-H kids to attend national, state and local events.