Ball season is a time to celebrate the traditions of the United States Marine Corps with family and loved ones. It’s also a time for Marines to look their very best in dress blues alongside dates dressed to the nines. To make getting duded up easier for everyone, Marine Corps Community Services Lejeune – New River is hosting an annual ball gown giveaway for authorized patrons.

MCCS Lejeune – New River will host its annual “ExtravaGOWNza” event at Tarawa Terrace Community Center on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 16 from 4-8 p.m.

"ExtravaGOWNza has been going on for over 20 years," said Yolanda Mayo, deputy operations officer for Marine Corps Community Services Lejeune - New River. “It’s a way to help military couples defray the cost of a military ball. It's a way of saying thank you to Marines and their families."

Set up like a stylish boutique, the community center will have 500 donated dresses for authorized patrons to shop through, try on and take home. Sizes range from 0-22. Dresses are completely free to DoD ID card holders.

“All of the dresses are donated from The Clothing Recycling Company in New York City,” said Mayo. “Many are designer dresses with the tags still attached. They come in all colors and styles, floor length and short. There is something for everyone. We have also accepted many dresses from other ladies in the community who had dresses that either they don't use, don't fit into, or they no longer want but are perfect for someone else.”

With such a large amount of ladies searching for the perfect ball look, participants will be helped on a first come first served basis.

“We ask that everyone be patient,” said Mayo. “Due to space we can't let everyone in at the same time, but we will be limiting time in order to get everyone through. We would also like to say thank you to our sponsors; without them we wouldn't be able to do this for our community.”

Many women return to share their experiences and give back to others who are in need of formalwear. Anyone interested in donating a recently cleaned dress can drop off dresses to the Tarawa Terrace Community Center.

“Even if you don't plan on going to the ball this year, come by and get a dress for that special occasion, homecoming, Prom, holiday parties... whatever,” said Mayo. “Barbara Dozier and I are happy to help everyone find the perfect gown.”

For more information, call (910)-450-1687 or visit