Bridal bazaar held at NMCRS thrift store

Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, along with a Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) volunteer cut a cake officially starting the bridal bazaar held at the NMCRS thrift store. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Nardel Gervacio

Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, along with a Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) volunteer cut a cake officially starting the bridal bazaar held at the NMCRS thrift store. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Nardel Gervacio

Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Pearl Harbor thrift shop held a bridal bazaar Sept. 25. The highlight of the bazaar was the 24 brand-new designer wedding gowns offered at discounted prices.

The gowns were donated to the thrift store while the store was undergoing renovations last year.

“We received a call asking if we wanted four boxes of new wedding dresses,” said Lorna Keaunui, the thrift store’s senior volunteer. “The donor was supposed to be opening a business, but it fell through and he brought them here.”

Keaunui realized that having two dozen new wedding gowns presented a unique opportunity. She contacted Rear Adm. Rick Williams, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, and Capt. Sal Aguilera, Navy Region Hawaii/ Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific chaplain, and soon the groundwork was put down for the bridal bazaar.

“We hope this event brings more visibility to the thrift store,” Keaunui said. “It also gives patrons a chance to buy a new wedding dress for $100 or $150 instead of $800 or $1,500.”

Sales of the gowns were available to E-6 and below.

“This is away to help out some of our enlisted during these tough fiscal times,” Aguilera said. “One E-3 just bought a $1,000 dress for $100.”

Volunteers from Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific (MIDPAC) modeled the dresses.

Also on hand were a variety of vendors offering goods and services including photography, jewelry and health supplements. A mobile DJ provided entertainment. Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Jennifer Miller, MIDPAC, found all of the vendors through social media and helped with most of the logistics for the bridal bazaar.

By the time the bridal bazaar came to an end, seven of the 24 bridal gowns had been sold.

The remainder will be boxed and put in storage. However, patrons will have a second chance to purchase one in winter of 2014.

“We’re going to repeat the bridal bazaar after the holidays,” said Paul Belanger, director of NMCRS Pearl Harbor. “We are going to do it all over again.”

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Category: News