Harnessing the power of social networking, Toni and Tom Polucki are making possible prom dreams for many Santa Clarita Valley teens. The couple has collected dozens of gowns, shoes, shirts, jackets and other formal items for high school students who might not be able to enjoy their special night.
It all started when Dr. Tom, who owns Upper Cervical Chiropractic, and Toni were participating in the KHTS Home and Garden Show and met Gail Pinsker, the community liaison officer for the Hart School District.
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She told them about Project Prom, a district program that accepts new or gently used prom wear to give to students who cannot afford to attend prom. The Poluckis were impressed with the endeavor and decided to get involved and ask their own friends for help.
“I went home and found two pair of earrings that I could donate the next day at the Home and Garden Show,” Toni said. “And I really thought about it, prom is an amazing opportunity for kids and a once-in-a-lifetime event. My husband and I don’t have kids of our own, so this would be a great way to us to give kids an opportunity to go.”
Toni also recalled that back in the day, her prom dress cost much less than the $100-300 price tags girls face today
“I thought about how much it costs for parents to send their kids to prom and felt we could really make a difference,” she said. “So we started asking our friends, my husband’s patients and other local people.”
They created an event called “Toni Needs A Prom Dress!” and posted it on Facebook as well as in Dr. Tom’s wellness practice in Newhall. The event ran for two weeks, but the response was immediate. One day after posting the event in the office, donations starting pouring in.
Because the event was also listed on Facebook, donations of dresses, shoes and shawls came in from as far away as Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Locally, they also received two very generous donations from Adriana at Cruz’s Bridal and from Sergio at Chantilly Bridal.
Toni said that her van was packed full last Friday when she delivered the donations to Project Prom headquarters. At last count, there were 67 formal dresses, 41 dress shirts, 46 vests, 4 sport coats, 2 suits, 24 pairs of evening shoes and 14 bags as well as an array of jewelry to accompany the prom wear.
“Things are still coming in,” she said. “Because it’s an ongoing, year-round effort, if anyone has anything left over or still wants to donate, we’ll be more than happy to accept it at my husband’s practice (25050 Peachland Avenue, Suite 105, in Newhall).
Prom time is fast approaching but Project Prom is a year-round event. For more information go to www.hartdistrictprojectprom.org or find their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hartdistrictprojectprom.