There are a lot of fairy godmothers and godfathers in our community.
And in the spirit of making a Cinderella-esque prom night for all high school students, volunteers and donors with Project Prom should be smiling for a job well done.
More than 300 students were able to take advantage of the formalwear and services donated to the fledgling program of the William S. Hart High School District, wearing new and gently-used dresses, tuxedos, shirts and shoes, with hair updos and flowers provided so that high school memories include the magical event, regardless of a student’s financial status.
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This is the second year of Project Prom’s existence, and the program has grown significantly over the last year. To help the program along, Project Prom was involved in the recent KHTS Home and Garden Show, where district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker met several new donors.
“We went through a really big expansion this year and have to thank KHTS for its partnership in getting the message out to the community,” she said, noting that donations increased after the show. “We have two locations that are set up like a boutique. If you walked in, you’d feel like you were in a formalwear store.”
As part of their commitment to the program, KHTS donated $1,000 to Project Prom from the show’s proceeds. The check was presented at the Hart District board meeting Wednesday night.
Pinsker said that all students who qualified for the district’s free or reduced cost lunch program were sent invitations to participate in the program. Of the 1,000 students invited, a third took the district up on the invitation.
“They were provided with dresses, suits, ties, shirts, everybody had the opportunity to pick out shoes, accessories, get their hair done and flowers were provided,” Pinsker said. “Kids that may have otherwise missed this very special moment in their high school career were able to enjoy their prom.”
“This is just a win-win for the community and the students,” she added.
Dr. Terry Deloria, who coordinates the program, has heard from some of the students and families who benefited from the program, and Pinsker said that those calls are often “filled with tears of happiness.”
“These students are so appreciative, and have had a great time at their prom,” she said. Some of the students who wore Project Prom ensembles have donated them back to the program so other students can benefit next year.
“We feel great at the district level to help them,” Pinsker said. “Prom is an important milestone in a student’s high school time and a memory that will serve them for years.”