The prom, one of high schoolâ€™s most memorable â€“ and most expensive â€“ events is coming up for Lincoln County teenagers.
Though many students and parents will be shelling out money for attire, accessories, dinners and transportation for the big event, the United Way Teen Board has found a way to ensure an affordable night for those a little less fortunate.
The group will be holding a prom dress drive next week.
â€œIt takes pressure off a child who wants to be in the average crowd,â€ said Cathy Davis, United Way chief professional officer. â€œWhat young girl doesnâ€™t want to go to their prom? What young girl doesnâ€™t want to be a princess?â€
After participating in a coat drive last winter, the board decided to do the same for prom dresses. Gowns have been coming into the office for several weeks due to advertisements in the newspaper.
â€œItâ€™s fun to pick out prom dresses and I think everybody should be able to do that regardless of their economic status,â€ said Teen Board member Allyson Goins.
Through appointments, teenagers and their parents can come to the office and select from numerous colors, styles and sizes of dresses free of charge. Some of the donated items even have shoes to match.
All appointments are discreet and conducted by adult United Way volunteers, said Davis.
Items are still being accepted and can be dropped off at the office. All those who donate will receive a letter of contribution that can be used for taxes.
â€œMost people wear a dress one time and they spent hundreds of dollars on it and it would make them feel good to have someone use it,â€ said Davis.
Teen Board member Danielle Hawley didnâ€™t feel sorry to part with her Christmas and Valentineâ€™s dance dresses, which have stayed in her closest after she wore them.
â€œWe just wanted to help other people who couldnâ€™t afford it,â€ she said.
Though the response has been good, there are a limited number of dresses. If successful, the group hopes to make the drive an annual event.
â€œIf we make one young lady happy for the prom, then this whole project is worth it,â€ said Davis.
The prom dress drive will last from March 20-24. For more information or to make an appointment, contact the United Way office at (704) 732-8055.
by Mary Williams