RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – For many young ladies, their prom is the first big, formal event they attend, and in this economy attending the prom maybe impossible for some, because they just don't have the money to purchase a prom dress. There's a project to help.
'Cinderella Dreams' is a sure sign, spring is near and proms are just around the corner. This is the program's 7th year and organizers expect a greater need, this time.
Donations of new and gently used prom dresses and gowns are coming in. This space will be transformed into something magical. The weekend for young ladies to shop, without embarrassment for a free prom dress, makeup, and accessories is March 19 and 20 at the Village Marketplace Shopping Center in Midlothian. The Midlothian Junior Woman's Club says more teens need help this year.
"We had one mom, last year; we helped get her daughter a dress. She had lost her job. Told other daughter she couldn't put braces on her and was about to tell the other daughter she couldn't go to the prom because she couldn't afford her dress," said Beth Fitzwater, Chairman of the 'Cinderella Dreams Project'.
Everyone who walks through the door can receive address. There is no screening process. Each teen shopper will be assisted by a 'fairy god mother' who makes sure the outfit complies with their school's dress code.
"We'll have posters and stuff demonstrating what the different counties allow. We want to make sure that the girls don't pick a dress that's not going to be appropriate that they can't wear," said Fitzwater.
Prom is important and expensive. The 'Cinderella Dreams' project is making the impossible happen at a special time for many area teens.
"They get so excited. Then you can help them choose makeup and things to match their dress. It's just a really heartwarming experience is the only way I know to tell you," said Ramona Miller, Midlothian High School Spirit Club Sponsor.
To donate a dress, drop it off at any Puritan Cleaners or YMCA. To volunteer or help setup the store, or help shoppers on the big day send an e-mail to: email@example.com.