Ruby Warfield is no stranger to giving a little extra.
But even she seems surprised by what’s gone into her latest project: donating 150 corsages to the girls of Magoffin County High School for this weekend’s prom.
“Tell those ladies it’s the labor of love,” Warfield said at her shop, Ruby’s Flowers and Gifts, Wednesday with a laugh, her eyes twinkling as she wrapped two silk roses.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into them, but it’s from the heart.”
For several weeks, Warfield has been assembling the corsages to be delivered to Magoffin County High School in Salyersville.
Salyersville and Magoffin County were two of the communities hit hardest by the March 2 tornadoes that killed more than 20 throughout Kentucky.
There were no deaths reported in Magoffin County, but more than 80 businesses were reported damaged or destroyed and dozens lost their homes.
Because of the damage, Magoffin County school officials weren’t sure if they’d be able to stage a prom.
“A lot of fundraising efforts were put on hold … everybody was more concerned about putting food on their table and a roof over their heads than having prom,” Magoffin County High School family and consumer sciences teacher Kathy Sparks told The State Journal by phone Wednesday.
“But we’ve just had a tremendous outpouring of help … it looks like it’s going to be the biggest prom we’ve had in a long time.”
More than 360 people bought prom tickets this year and 150 of those will be wearing Warfield’s handmade silk flower corsages.
Each corsage, comprised of two silk roses, ribbon and baby’s breath, takes Warfield about 20 minutes to make. She estimates she’s dedicated more than 60 hours to the project.
“It takes a long time … but up in the mountains, they don’t have a lot to start with,” Warfield said.
“I just wanted to help these girls out.”
Warfield was asked to make the corsages by her friend Glenn Wright, husband of Melissa Wright, who owns Razzle Dazzle Dresses in Frankfort and donated more than 100 prom dresses to the girls.
Because she didn’t know what kind of dresses Melissa Wright donated, Warfield made corsages ranging in color from white and ivory to aqua and shimmery pink.
She thought about making fresh flower arrangements, but didn’t know if they would last the two-and-a-half hour trip to Magoffin County.
“And they can keep these as a keepsake,” Warfield said.
Warfield was finishing up the last few corsages Wednesday and Thursday before Wright delivers them Friday.