HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — A program here aimed at loaning dresses to those needing one for a special occasion has relocated, upgraded and re-opened due primarily to the efforts of its director and support of base leaders.
The Belle of the Ball is a program that loans dresses free of charge to anyone with base access. The dresses are commonly borrowed for events such as weddings, proms, cruises, Airman Leadership School graduations, Air Force Balls and photo shoots.
Angy Hogan, spouse of active-duty Tech Sgt. Thomas Hogan, took over the program at the beginning of 2017 and shortly thereafter was recognized by Military Spouse magazine for her efforts.
“I had just taken over and I knew that the attention would help put a spotlight on the program,” said Hogan. “I took every opportunity that was given to me to do various briefings and guest speaking engagements, and made an intentional choice to always highlight Belle of the Ball.”
The former location was in an older dormitory building situated between the post office and the dining facility. The space was comprised of two small connected rooms without heating and cooling, and didn’t offer an appropriate space for the program.
Hogan felt that if she could share her vision and passion for the program, that she could relocate to a more suitable and appropriate location. She wanted the experience of using the program to be more akin to shopping at a boutique rather than visiting a closet loan program.
Hogan credits Team Hill leadership for recognizing the value of the program and the positive impact it has on the community. Those leaders ultimately got her a meeting with the base facilities board, which led to the relocation approval.
“Belle of the Ball is an amazing program that benefits all of Team Hill Airmen,” said Col. Jennifer Hammerstedt, 75th Air Base Wing commander. “Moving it provides a more spacious area and better atmosphere for what the program stands for—Airmen helping Airmen at very special and very important moments in their lives.”
The new location is on the second floor of building 152. It is much more spacious and has running water and functioning restrooms. The extra space has allowed the program to set up a ‘kid corner’ where children can be entertained while parents browse and try on attire.
The new space also has private dressing rooms, a coffee bar and a conference room that can be used for bigger events.
With an ever-growing inventory of more than 500 dresses of all sizes and styles, the program has something for almost everyone and for practically any occasion. Most dress donations come from Team Hill employees and family members.
People interested in an appointment or making a donation can contact the Belle of the Ball at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HillBelleoftheBall/.
“It is so exciting when I meet people who don’t even realize our program exists, sharing with them what we have to offer, and then seeing them come to their first appointment,” said Hogan. “It’s so much fun.”