notnearly 70 used wedding dresses were donated by press readers to be resold at our 37th annual wedding fair.
The idea to collect wedding dresses came from longtime employee Patti Carlson. As classified ads were placed in our newspapers beginning in January, dresses began to arrive in our offices. In a way, it was overwhelming. Wedding dresses are big and take up space. We were surprised at the response, and it became clear that this would be something unique.
The dresses were offered for sale at our bridal show for just $10. We have offered dresses in all sizes and styles. Most had been professionally cleaned after their first use and many came in sealed boxes. A few still had price tags on them. We’ve had many brides who appreciated the opportunity to buy a dress so reasonably, when most new wedding dresses cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. A bride who said she struggled to find the right size dress found the perfect one. She started crying and told our staff that she felt like she had just won the lottery.
Our sales people agreed it was one of the best shows in years. Our staff also felt very good about it. Many thanks to those who donated wedding dresses and to the volunteers and staff who made the show a success. Our friend Judy King set us up with a group of volunteers to help unbox the dresses and put them on display. A dress came with a beautiful note hidden inside of it addressed to the next bride.
We will donate proceeds from the dress sale to the White Bear Area Food Shelf. It was such a hit that we’ll be collecting clean dresses again ahead of next year’s show. If you missed this opportunity and want to donate your wedding dress, watch the press for information in early 2023.
When Amy and I walked into the house after a night out last Friday, we were ambushed by a flurry of darts fired from a Nerf gun.
At many local high schools, upperclassmen pull out their old toys and organize teams for the annual Nerf Wars. At a local high school, teams pay $5 per person and create an Instagram account so results can be tracked. I heard that almost 400 children could participate. The incentive – on top of the fun – is for the winning team to take home the prize pool. With a potential of 100 teams and each person paying $5, it can equate to thousands of dollars for the winner. Nervous Wars are between classmates in the same school and many schools have a version of the game.
There are rules, such as you can’t shoot people in or from a moving car, you can’t shoot people at school, and you need permission to enter someone’s house. ‘a. As I understand it can be hard to hang out with friends from a different team for fear of getting shot. Participants stalk each other on Snapchat and find out where their classmates live to ambush them after school or whenever they leave home. We have been warned not to let anyone into the house for the next few weeks, even if they are friends.
Who knows which are the best guns to win: the single-shot mini Nerf guns, the rapid-fire mega clips or the powerful Nerf guns. In many schools, Nerf balls or discs are not allowed, just foam darts. In our experience last weekend, getting hit with darts doesn’t hurt (our son, who had pulled out his old Nerf guns to give to his sister, was behind the trigger and found it hilarious.)
It is important to note that Nerf Wars is not a school sponsored event. I guess most school staff don’t tolerate it, although many teachers have probably experienced the Nerf Wars themselves. As long as attendees keep safety in mind and it doesn’t become a distraction at school, tantrums seem like a pretty harmless and fun way to celebrate the end of the school year.
If you see teenagers walking around your neighborhood with Nerf guns, you’ll know what’s going on. Don’t assume they’re up to no good, but if something feels out of control, say something. Otherwise, stay out of the crossfire and remember that most of us have played ding dong ditch or worse at one time or another. Parents – remind your children to keep the competition safe and light.
Carter Johnson is publisher of Press Publications.