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Spouses from across Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing sift through racks of dresses in search of their perfect gown during the Operation Ball Gown 2014 at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., Sept. 26, 2014. The sixth annual event benefitted 300 military wives who received free ball gowns in preparation for the upcoming Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

Photo by Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics

Cherry Point hosts 6th annual Operation Ball Gown

30 Sep 2014 | Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point spouses sifted through racks of ball gowns donated by their fellow spouses and local businesses during Operation Ball Gown 2014 at Miller’s Landing, here Sept. 26.

The event sold out in its sixth year, benefiting 300 spouses who received a free ball gown. 

“This event is an opportunity for spouses to gift dresses they no longer need,” said Kimberly Johnston, director with Marine Corps Community Services, Marine Corps Family Team Building. “We also provide etiquette tips, hair and make-up advice and dress selection guidance.”

Spouses were assigned 30-minute time slots throughout the day where they could view, try on and pick the best fitting dress, said Johnston. Representatives from local business vendors were standing by to match makeup, lipstick and hairstyles for each of the participants selected dress.

“This annual event is a great opportunity to pay it forward and give back to the Marine Corps community,” said Johnston. “Additionally, it’s a way for vendors in town to be involved in the installation and for spouses to socialize and have fun.”

“I am trying to stay involved in as many military events as possible and Operation Ball Gown seemed like such a unique, wonderful experience,” said Laura Burdett, first time Operation Ball Gown attendee.

Operation Ball Gown is a way to lessen the expense for military families during the Marine Corps Birthday Ball season, but it is also used as a tool to teach and remind Marine Corps spouses about the traditions and etiquette required at the ball.

“This event is a great way to teach and remind spouses of ball etiquette and rules while allowing us to dress appropriate and classy,” said Burdett.

According to Burdett, events like Operation Ball Gown offer great social interaction among the spouses and are a chance to meet new people.

 “We should have more events that require us to give back to other spouses because sharing truly is caring,” said Burdett.

For more information on Operation Ball Gown, call (252) 444-0949.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point