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Fundraiser invites women to give gowns a second spin

Jill Bopp, Jeni Torgerson and Cassandra Beardsly show off their bridal and bridesmaids gowns at the Brides and Beauties event. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)1 / 3
Jackie Rennwald, Laura Kleive and Melanie Mojkowski dressed up for Brides and Beauties. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)2 / 3
Co-planners Emily Linn and Belle Nelson pose in their wedding dresses during the Brides and Beauties event at Superior Shores Resort in Two Harbors on April 27. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)3 / 3

What started as a Facebook post ended as a fundraiser with about 80 women wearing wedding dresses.

In January, Emily Linn read an article on Facebook about a group of women who got together over New Year’s Eve and surprised their husbands by wearing their old wedding dresses.

Sadie Stripling and Stephanie DeVlieger dressed up as 1990s wedding crashers. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)“They didn’t quite fit, so they used duct tape and whatever to get them to fit and it just looked like so much fun,“ Belle Nelson said.

Within hours, the post had garnered a large amount of comments from friends supporting the idea of having a similar event.

“We thought it would be the ultimate girls night out,” Linn said. “Plus, it sounded like so much fun.”

Belle Nelson reached out to Linn and asked if she’d want to work together to create an event where women could wear their dresses while also raising money for a local charity.

“I figured women would be much more willing to do this if the proceeds went to a good cause,” Nelson said.

All proceeds from the “Brides and Beauties” event April 27 at Superior Shores Resort went to the Two Harbors Area Food Shelf. About 80 women bought tickets and showed up wearing either wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses. Nelson estimates the proceeds will provide 2,400 meals.

The dance floor fills up with brides and bridesmaids as the DJ plays "Bye Bye Bye" by 'N Sync. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)“It’s just so much fun. We expected maybe 20-30 to sign up, but 80 is fantastic,” Nelson said.

Two Harbors Food Shelf Executive Director Michelle Miller said she couldn’t be happier for the support.

“It was so beautiful to have these ladies come to us and ask if they could do this for us,” Miller said. “We have a limited capacity for fundraising, so to have someone put in the time and effort to raise funds for us, it’s truly wonderful. It’ll make an unimaginable impact.”