Pasco County high school girls who have no budget for prom once again can receive fashion assistance from some real fairy godmothers as the Cinderella Project returns for its 10th year, providing new and gently used prom dresses and accessories at no cost.
“We try to keep it as modern as possible,” said Julie Rockwell, who is serving as one of the chief organizers this year along with Roberta Bartlett. “We try to run it like a store.”
Girls can try on and pick out their ensemble on two Saturdays: from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 22 and March 29 at 9040 Tryfon Boulevard in the Trinity Town Center, at the corner of Little Road and Trinity Boulevard; and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 22 only at Bridgeway Church, 30660 Wells Road in Wesley Chapel.
Girls who wish to participate must bring their school ID badge.
Rockwell has been involved with the Cinderella Project as a volunteer for three years before taking on organizational duties this year.
“I have three sons,” she said. “That's one of the reasons I love this. I'm getting my girl fix. It's really rewarding. The girls come in and you just see their eyes light up.”
Rockwell remembers a father one year who had tears in his eyes. He was out of work and said he would have been unable to let his daughter go to the prom without the help of the Cinderella Project.
“It really touches your heart,” Rockwell said. “It's something I hope I'm involved with for years to come.”
She said each year the project provides about 85 to 120 girls with prom dresses and accessories. On the days the girls choose their dresses, volunteers provide assistance and seamstresses are available to handle minor fixes.
The volunteers, along with businesses and groups that donate space, make it all happen, Rockwell said.
“We're really, really thankful for the people in the community stepping up and helping with things like that,” she said. “That's key to us being successful with the girls.”
The Cinderella Project accepts donations of prom-style dresses and accessories, including shoes, purses and costume jewelry in excellent condition and contemporary styles. Donations are being accepted at any Pasco County high school. Cash donations to the Cinderella Project are used to buy new dresses and shoes when sizes are not available in the donated inventory.
For information or to make a donation, call (727) 463-4306(727) 463-4306 or (630) 338-3681(630) 338-3681.