BY LEANN DILBECK –
Prom, a tradition that began back in the 1800’s at Ivy League colleges, has grown to be one of the most expensive outings for high school students… and their parents! A national average for 2014 is a whopping $1,900, and while few local teenagers will spend this extravagant amount, prom is certainly an all-out gala with an all-out price tag. And yet, it will no doubt be one of the most anticipated events of a teenager’s high school career.
Because of the high price tag, many teenager girls will find themselves unable to attend. But fortunately locally, the vision of a group of young women has provided an alternative and it is called “Pretty in Pink.”
Misty Bradley, Tori Rowell, and Emmye Rowell said the need was discussed during a church life-group meeting between several teens and young women. Recognizing the significance the event can be for a teen girl, they all knew they wanted to find a way to make a difference.
Misty explained they were inspired by a store called “Cinderella’s Closet” in Little Rock but there are similar concepts all across the country where gently worn gowns are donated for girls, who may not otherwise be able to afford one, can borrow a dress, free of charge, to wear for their prom. She explained the concept has grown in such popularity in some places that many department stores are donating brand-new gowns to the cause.
“We began thinking about how many formal dresses are out there,” said Misty. Before long, word began to spread on Facebook of their concept and to date, they have collected a total of 61 dresses in a variety of styles and sizes.
Hearing such comments from recipients as “I feel pretty in this,” or “I feel like a princess,” Emmye said they are inspired to continue their efforts, hoping they will only continue to grow and others will want to contribute in some way to help make these young ladies have a positive experience. As Tori said, “Regardless of what you think about prom, you should experience it at least once… it’s like a right of passage.”
Complete confidentiality is maintained and girls who want more information should speak to their school counselor.
Even if you don’t have dresses or gowns to donate, cash donations are appreciated to assist with the dry-cleaning and minor mending required. For more information on how to help, call 479-216-3254.