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Brides-to-be descending on Marissas Closet today
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RIPON — Today’s the final opportunity for brides-to-be to pick up a wedding gown for $50 in cash only at Ripon’s Marissa’s Closet at the corner of Main Street and Elm starting at 10 a.m.

Brides and their mothers flocked to the store last Saturday and purchased more than 200 of the new dresses. Proceeds are going toward buying more prom dresses in time for the last of the winter formals and the upcoming graduation proms.

Some 100 new bridal gowns have been added to the racks on the floor today for a total of more than 300 to choose from for the prospective brides.

Melinda Shaw, who had continued the free prom dress project in her daughter Marissa’s name, said this would be the last Saturday for the wedding gowns.  Girls have been calling for their prom dresses from Turlock and Hughson, she said.  Social workers have been contacting Marissa’s Closet as well looking for gowns for teens in need. 

“I have to take care of them,” she said.

Shaw said that after Saturday’s sale ends at 4 p.m.  the racks will be cleared and immediately filled with the prom dresses.  The wedding gowns that remain in the store are going to be shipped to Third World countries and others will be offered to a Cancer Fund group that goes state to state searching for wedding gowns they can profit by reselling.

Many of the wedding gowns remaining in the store last week were sizes 8 and 10.  Shaw said that’s because wedding dresses run small. Some of the 8s have been fitting brides in the size 6 range.  The new shipment this week had a variety of sizes including larger gowns that were sold out last Saturday.

Shaw said she has been flooded with phone calls and emails from brides and their mothers who want to come today from many areas outside the Ripon community. 

“Someone called from Hayward Friday morning asking if it would be OK if she came at midnight and camped out at the front door. I told her I thought it would be OK if she came a little later,” Shaw chuckled.

There are also hundreds of shoes and veils available along with flower girl dresses and white suits for ring bearers.

Donations to the non-profit are welcome to help defray the costs in their effort to provide cost-free prom dresses to teens throughout the area.