A female volunteer at the Festival of Trees in Salt Lake City was rejected upon arriving at the event for her attire, which consisted of pants and a jacket.
The rejected volunteer, a high school senior named Ellie Kaiser, wanted to contribute to the Christmas-tree-themed festival and fundraiser because it was organized by Skyline High School’s National Honor Society. The festival, which took place at the South Towne Expo Center, was organized to raise money for Primary Children’s Hospital. Money is raised by auctioning themed Christmas trees and other, smaller Christmas-themed items that have been donated to the hospital.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, festival chairwoman Marie Partridge explained that Kaiser was turned away because the event keeps a strict dress code: a dress shirt, tie and slacks for men, and a skirt or dress for women.
“Once someone sees someone wearing pants, then everyone thinks that would be accepted,” Partridge said. "We just don’t go there. We still are very strict in the way we want Primary Children’s Hospital represented."
Kaiser acknowledges that she was informed of the dress code prior to attending the event, but she “just never really imagined that it would be that big of a problem.”
She allegedly was offered the opportunity to change into a skirt or dress after showing up, but she decided to leave instead. “I didn’t feel comfortable,” Kaiser said to KUTV. "You can go and hide in the back where people won’t see you, but you can’t be out there talking to people because what you’re wearing is wrong."
Sources: The Salt Lake Tribune, KUTV / Photo Credit: KUTV