COPPERAS COVE -- A Central Texas military spouse launched a project to help military dependents find formal wear for military balls, proms and other formal events.

Melissa Sartwell created the "Borrow for the Ball" project after struggling to find extra money to purchase formal wear for past events of her own. These days, she accepts donations of gently-used cocktail or formal dresses year round.

"I know a lot of parents that don't ever go on dates or get this time out especially because their husband may be gone for a year or two," Sartwell said. "So, to be able to have a night where she doesn't worry about how much money she just spent and just go out and have a nice evening for me, it means a lot."

Dependents interested in viewing the dresses can visit Sporty B located at 209 S Main St. in Copperas Cove Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Relatives of rank E-4 and below military members are able to borrow gowns at no cost. Dry cleaning services are provided by Holiday Cleaners of Copperas Cove. There is a $50 deposit required to borrow a dress, but that deposit is returned once the dress is returned.

To make a donation, email