Group stayin’ alive with costume sale

Lauren Holmes (Louisa Jones) 221254_34

By Luke Voogt

Locals can become a disco star, a showgirl or even SpongeBob SquarePants in a garage sale to help keep a Grovedale institution alive.

The Dress Up Place is selling clothing, accessories and donated homewares tomorrow and Sunday.

“Normally by now we’d have done a sausage sizzle or a trivia night,” said the group’s secretary Diana Poeder.

“But, of course, we haven’t had the opportunity to hold events like that.”

COVID-19 halted the main source of income – amateur theatre and school plays – for the not-for-profit group and had put some of their elderly and disabled volunteers at risk.

Half of the group’s volunteers have a disability, Diana explained.

“We had to close the doors for months because there was no point in opening,” she said.

“Thank goodness we’re in Geelong, not Melbourne, or else we probably would’ve had to have closed permanently.”

The store made just $150 in September and costs about $3500 to run a month, Diana said.

The group’s volunteers made and sold masks during Victoria’s second lockdown to keep the shop going, she said.

“Our landlord was terrific in giving us some relief but you’ve still got to pay the bills. We have to look after the costumes and do fumigation – it all costs money.”

She thanked local state and federal MPs Stuart Grimley and Libby Coker for their assistance in obtaining grants.

The garage sale runs tomorrow, 8am to 3pm, and Sunday, 10am to 3pm, at 141B Marshalltown Road, Grovedale.