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Brides for a Cause plans charity event in Bakersfield

Myrissa Johns, News Editor

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Brides for a Cause, an organization that helps raise money to grant wedding wishes for terminally ill couples, will be holding a charity dress sale in Bakersfield for the first time in March.
Brides for a Cause sells brand new and once-worn wedding dresses at discounted rates to raise money for its partner, Wish Upon a Wedding, which is a California-based non-profit organization that provides weddings and vow renewals for terminally ill couples or couples facing serious, life-altering circumstances.
Brides for a Cause started in April 2012 and began its partnership with Wish Upon a Wedding later that year in July. Erin Scharf, the owner of Brides for a Cause, said she had known the founder of WUW for several years, and they had wanted to team up for a while before the partnership finally came together mid-2012.
“I wanted to find a charity that I believed in to partner with, and Wish Upon a Wedding was a natural fit,” Scharf said.
Although the Brides for a Cause boutique is located in Portland, Ore., the organization travels to different cities hosting road shows to sell the wedding gowns. The road show is going to be making its first appearance in Bakersfield on March 21-23.
According to Melissa Puryear, events coordinator and owner of local company Event It, the road show will take place at The Patino, a local venue owned by Jesse Patino. Puryear explained that Event It is working in tandem with The Patino to put on the event in absence of Brides for a Cause, as the organization is not local.
“That’s where I come in, and I put everything together,” Puryear said, explaining that she uses her network to get local businesses and professionals to donate time and services to the event.
“… I had no problem at all. The professionals in our town are really giving, and they’re eager to do something for a great cause.”
There will be a wide range of dress styles and sizes with prices starting at $250 and there is a $50-off coupon being offered on the Brides for a Cause website. Approximately 50 percent of the sale price of each gown is donated to WUW, while the other half is used to maintain the operation of the fundraiser.
“Our event is perfect for those who are just getting started because they’ll have a chance to try on many different styles to see what looks best on them,” Scharf said. “But the event is also good for women who just can’t seem to find the ‘perfect gown,’ because we get a lot of very unique, one-of-a-kind gowns that aren’t at typical bridal stores.”
According to Scharf, they have accepted more than 2,000 dresses in less than a year.
“We’ve been very fortunate in receiving so many dresses in such a short amount of time.”
Brides who would like to get an early-access preview are encouraged to pre-register for the VIP event, which will be held on March 21. For the $15 fee, brides will receive the first look at the dresses, food, drinks, and more. Those who would like to purchase tickets for the VIP night or get more information can visit bridesforacause.com.
The event is open to the public and Brides for a Cause welcomes anyone who would like to attend.
With the event approaching, it is important that anyone who would like to volunteer to work the event does so by signing up on the website. There is a need for volunteers for several different jobs including setting up the event, signing in guests, serving food and drinks, and more.
According to Puryear, although an advanced notice is encouraged as to keep an accurate idea of the amount of enlisted help, they would not turn away anyone willing to give a hand in the event.
Anyone who would like to help the cause can do so by going to the Brides for a Cause website to volunteer services for a road show or donate a dress, or by going to the WUW website at wishuponawedding.org to sign on as a wish granter, volunteer services as a professional or venue, or make a monetary donation.

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Brides for a Cause plans charity event in Bakersfield