The Carthage Service League has hosted a prom dress sale for girls of the community to get nice dresses for a low price annually for the past six years.

But this year is different: the dresses are being given away for free to any junior high, high school or college girl.

“In the past we have sold our dresses and shoes at very reasonable prices, but last year we had quite a few donations from citizens who wanted to participate in some way,” Nancy Langford, the league’s publicity chair, said. “Well, we had so much money that this year we’re going to offer them for free. So the dresses, they can get dresses; they can get shoes; they can get jewelry, a little make-up if they like what we have, and it’s all for free this year. It’s made possible because of community people wanting girls to have a prom.”

This year’s prom dress giveaway will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6-8 at the Sammy Brown Library’s hospitality room, 319 S. Market St. in Carthage. Thursday and Friday, doors will be open from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday it will be be from 9 a.m. to noon.

Girls must show their school ID and be present to get their dress. They do not need to be residents of Panola County. They are also encouraged to bring one item of nonperishable food to be donated to the Samaritan House.

Gayla LaGrone, chair of the prom dress committee, said they have a little more than 150 dresses in all kinds of styles and sizes.

“We are so fortunate that we have so many donations at the thrift shop through Panola County and the counties around us that we decided about six years ago that we do a prom dress event,” LaGrone said. “... It helps promote the service that we like to do and just makes every girl, really makes her (feel) special for her prom.”