By Cynthia McCabe
Remember the bride who, along with her groom, braved snow and an imminent wedding to protest alongside tens of thousands in Madison, Wisc., on behalf of public school teachers and other American workers a couple weeks ago?
Now she’s auctioning off on eBay the gown made famous on websites including this one and Salon.com and the news, and donating all of the proceeds to a fund established to aid citizens protesting the attacks on the American worker and middle class.
Even after camping out in the statehouse in the week leading up to her wedding, and protesting two hours before her wedding began, Heather Allen still wanted to do more to show her solidarity with educators, firefighters, nurses and other public employees threatened by Gov. Scott Walker’s dangerous budget repair bill.
She’s listed her vintage-style gown on eBay and will donate any proceeds to the 51 Fund, which was established to help feed volunteers, organize rallies and get the message out to people everywhere that the right to collective bargaining ensures a strong middle class. Any member of the general public can contribute to the 51 Fund.
Allen got the idea to auction the gown for a good cause after so many people complimented it on her wedding day as she and her husband David Sensenbrenner made their now-famous march through the capitol. They protested on their wedding day, deciding it was crucial to support the community and the workers standing up in Madison.
“I thought perhaps another person would really enjoy the chance to wear it,” Allen said. “And auctioning the dress allows the next owner to wear it proudly knowing they have done something charitable and fashionable.”
How hard is it for her to part with the champagne and ivory, tulle-and-embroidery Justin Alexander gown that looks like it would be right at home in a swanky restaurant scene from Mad Men?
“I am a little bit bummed; it’s very pretty and special to me,” Allen said. “However as newlyweds we are trying to combine households and every bit of extra space helps. This is one puffy dress, so it will free up some valuable space in our apartment.”
You don’t have to be getting married to make a bid. Consider a bid a fun way to donate to a worthy cause — the fight for the American worker and middle class. Check out the eBay listing for Allen’s “union bride” wedding gown here and be sure to share the link through Facebook, Twitter and email!
Photo: Becca Dilley Photography