I spend many hours a day, like most people penning a novel, staring at a computer screen. Hammering out my next setting or character. But many times, when the creative juices aren’t flowing, I need to get out and get away from what I affectionately call “the words” for a while.
One of my favorite things to do is work on a project near and dear to my heart called “The Cinderella Affair.” This program allows high school juniors and seniors in need come to a two-day boutique where they are allowed to select one prom dress for FREE! We are not talking about thrift store-type dresses but all out, sparkle and bling dresses that cost anywhere in the range of $100-$500.
The idea began in 2002 with two women and their daughters who watched as neighbors and friends struggled to put the money together to send their daughter to prom. Back then, tickets alone for the prom cost $50 per person. Now they go for about $100 per ticket. So think about that cost on top of a dress, shoes, accessories, not to mention a corsage and dinner. We are now well into $400-$500. This program takes away a huge part of that burden by allowing girls to select an amazing dress as well as shoes and accessories for FREE!
To date, the program, now in its eleventh year, has given away close to 4,000 dresses. To qualify, girls do not have to show proof of need. The only requirements are that they be a junior or senior in high school and have valid school id – it’s that simple.
The project takes a lot of work to organize and actually pull off with close to 200 volunteers dedicated to making each girl find a fairytale dress. It’s all worth it though when both mother and daughter are in tears after finding the “perfect” dress they know will make the night even more special.
This event not only adds an important service to the community but reminds us that when we come together to support a greater need, amazing things can happen. And who knows, one day the event may find its way into one of my manuscripts. Stranger things have happened!