About 100 girls will benefit from The Prom Project
A senior at Boyle County High School is working with other adult volunteers to make prom a magical evening for young ladies needing a little extra sparkle in finding a beautiful dress with complimenting accessories.
Amelia Fogle has worked with The Prom Project, based out of Centenary United Methodist Church, since Ginny Hogue began it three years ago.
The focus of the project is to give donated prom dresses, matching shoes, purses and jewelry to deserving high school girls who may not have the financial means to afford an elegant gown for prom — Hogue said a new dress can cost between $600 and $800.
Because of the confidentiality of students who use the free service, Fogle is only allowed to work behind the scenes, setting up the large showroom where girls come to select their gown. She helped set up dress racks, sorted dress and shoe sizes and displayed jewelry and purses.
This year, Fogle said she wanted to try and do more to help the girls find their perfect dress, because, “Prom is a big part of high school. It is such a big deal, but it’s expensive.”
So Fogle asked to have a dress drive at BCHS where she could collect donated prom and homecoming dresses directly from other students and take to The Prom Project. She hung posters around school and talked to friends about it. She even set up a mannequin in the school library urging girls to donate their gently used dresses and accessories.
Fogle ended up having seven dresses to add to the collection of nearly 700 they already have this year. Another donated prom dress organization, Cinderella’s Closet from northern Kentucky, is bringing 300 more dresses to Danville soon.
Hogue said dresses are donated all year from individuals and businesses such as Miss Priss in Lexington. They also accept financial donations and sponsor a Sweetheart Market every February where all the proceeds go to support the project.
Standing in the storage room filled with racks of hundreds of long and short dresses of every style and color imaginable, Hogue said they have dresses ranging in size from 0 to 28.
This year’s event where selected girls are to arrive and choose their dresses will be March 23 and 24.
She said the organization is hoping to have at least 100 young ladies coming from BCHS, Danville High School, Kentucky School for the Deaf and Casey, Garrard and Lincoln counties. McQueary County participated last year because there was a huge need, Hogue said. They are coming again this year because the need is still there and because the project has enough dresses, Hogue said.
In addition to trying on and selecting their prom ensemble with the help of a volunteer attendant, six seamstresses will be on hand to make simple alterations so the dress will fit perfectly. Hogue said this service includes hemming, perhaps adding a strap or putting in an insert if the dress is “a little too revealing,” she said.
And more volunteer seamstresses are desperately needed this year because of the number of girls they are helping, Hogue said.
Hogue said the 50 to 70 volunteers from area churches greet each girl as they arrive, many times as a group in school buses, and escort them to the showroom where a personal attendant will help them pick out at least three dresses to try on. If a mother, friend or family member comes with the student, they can relax in the hospitality room and wait for their “princess” (how they refer to the girls, she said) to step out and show off their selection.
After a dress is chosen, they go to the “Slipper Fairies” where a pair of fancy shoes are selected. Then they glide over to the “Glitter Fairies” where glittering accessories are available.
“This is my favorite part,” Hogue said. “I like all the foofy stuff.”
Then they are escorted to the makeup area where Connie Snyder, a Mary Kay Consultant gives the girls pointers on applying makeup and a bag of samples to use on prom night.
Finally, the girls take their dresses to the “Sewing Fairies” where the alterations are completed. Each dress is inspected, steamed and placed in a special bag to protect it until prom night, Hogue said. Everything the high school girls receive during The Prom Project is theirs to keep, she said.
And for a little extra encouragement, each girl has a “prayer partner” who is a volunteer saying a private prayer for the girls during the week of prom, Hogue said.
Watching them transform from shy and quiet girls into beautiful and excited young ladies is a humbling experience, Hogue said. Sometimes parents can’t do as much for their child as they want to so helping out in this one special way is important to her.
SO YOU KNOW
More seamstresses are needed to help make simple alterations to prom dresses on March 23 and 24. If you are interested in volunteering, please call Ginny Hogue at (859) 516-2496
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