Old dresses were pulled from the closet for a good cause on Saturday at a farm in Bright, Ont. called on women to come out and destroy their dresses in support of the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region.
People have found closure after losing loved ones and others have found the strength to move on from a difficult past – while still managing to have fun.
“I thought heck, let’s go and destroy the dress,” said contestant Sharon Trent-Docherty.
Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life in Bright, Ontario. invited women and allies to get dirty for a good cause and throw away an unwanted wedding dress or special occasion.
“It was a riot, an absolute blast,” said attendee Melissa Gissing.
Each participant had a unique story behind the dress they ransacked. For some, that meant celebrating a recent separation or putting an abusive relationship in the rearview mirror.
“It was more than just fun, more than just going out. It was to send a message that this dress is trashed and this chapter of my life is over,” Gissing added.
For Melanie Jaycock, whose mother died 11 months ago, it was an opportunity to turn the page.
“I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye like I wanted to and yet I got her dress when she passed away,” she said. “She rode a shotgun with me. She would have found it hilarious and an incredible send off.
Cheryl Haskett, a domestic violence survivor, initiated the event. She said the funds raised will go to a new program through Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region called the Moving Forward Scholarship Fund.
“Yes, I’m a survivor, but for me, the scholarship is about how we can help women thrive.”
The fund will give women and children coming out of shelters money for education.
As for the Wreck the Dress event, Haskett said it “creates a joyous opportunity, not just to relieve trauma.”
“If we women don’t take care of each other, who is going to,” Trent-Docherty said.