Prom season has arrived! As students make plans for the special Spring occasion, the perfect prom attire is a must. Thanks to the donations of almost 500 dresses, the May 3rd prom will indeed be a special occasion for young ladies at Mary Phillips High School (MPHS). About 150 students stopped by the gymnasium on Tuesday to select that perfect dress during the Prom Promise event. All of them walked away with a special garment, carefully bagged and placed across their arms.
Some new and gently used prom dresses began arriving from all across Wake County when the call went out to find dresses. “We were so excited to receive a huge donation of beautiful formal dresses from some very generous ladies at Meredith College,” said Dalila Lilly, MPHS teacher and Student Government Advisor.
Another armload of dresses came from employees at the North Carolina Employment Security Commission offices in Raleigh.
“It’s a perfect example of an entire community coming together to support our students. It goes a long way toward building self-esteem for many of the girls,” says Ms. Lilly.
An array of styles, sizes and colors filled the garment racks inside of the MPHS gym, which was transformed into a boutique of sorts, complete with sparkling lights to create a fun atmosphere. Once the students from Mary Phillips selected their dresses, the remaining dresses were free to any student from any Wake County school to choose from, and the offerings were plenty.
“The girls have been super excited all week about this event,” said Roxanne Burt, MPHS Teacher and SGA adviser. “I love to see their faces light up when they see themselves in the mirror looking fancy and special. Seeing them smile is my reward.”
The program was originally created by Shena J, a local radio station personality at K97.5 and grew over the years to include drop-off locations all across the county. Local businesses have also gotten involved. A barber donates free hair cuts to young men for prom. Other businesses have offered tuxedos, jewelry and even shoes. Organizers say it not only promotes school spirit but builds a great sense of community.
“It’s the intangibles that help to meet the needs of our students–some of the intangibles that we often forget, “ said Daniel Colvin, MPHS Principal. “We very much appreciate the community for helping us to meet those intangible needs. We could not boast of being the ‘Best’ without our community support.”