‘Godmothers’ for Graduates
Prom night should be a night to remember fondly for years, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Preparing for a high school prom, even an elementary school graduation as well, can be stressful. For many
students, graduation night will be their first formal event and, preparing for it can be daunting and costly; so expensive that some students don’t attend.
Enter the Prom Fairies, three women from the Lennoxville and Waterville area, Nancy Grey, Wanda Evans and Marie Letemplier, who have been making prom night not only possible but magical for any student who asks. “The Prom Fairies are open to everyone. This year, besides our Galt students, we have three elementary school students and one student from Richmond High School who we are helping,” said Ms. Grey, of Waterville, who started the initiative five years ago.
What these three women provide for students truly is surprising: almost anything they need! These fairies have at their disposal dozens of dresses and gowns and suits for the boys, donated enthusiastically from people in the community, to lend to students on prom night; but it doesn’t stop there. “We’ll also buy shoes, jewelry, and pay to have their make-up and hair done at the salon. We’ve even helped students pay for graduation pictures and rings; anything they need because we feel they really deserve it,” Ms. Grey explained. The Prom Fairies also provide money to students who need help to buy that ‘perfect’ dress and they rent tuxedos for the boys.
“I never went to my prom. We had a big family…,” Nancy continued. “So about five years ago I got this idea to try and help at least one person to make it to their prom. I put it out on Facebook that I was looking for dresses and I got lots of responses. The first year we helped one girl with a dress, jewelry, everything.”
Ms. Evans, who has worked as a Special Education Technician at Alexander Galt High School for eight years, was motivated to get involved with her friend’s unique service soon after it began. “Over the years you get close to the kids. Many I’ve known since grade seven, some from kindergarten; I know their situation. Sometimes I’ll ask a student if they are okay for prom, if they have all they need, because they’re shy to ask,” she said. And ask is all they need to do, they don’t need to explain why they’re asking. “Nancy always says to me ‘I don’t need to know their story; it’s enough that they have the nerve to ask for help’.”
Marie Letemplier is the seamstress of the trio, putting her talents with the needle to use for the worthy cause. “Marie fits the gowns to the girls. She takes them home and makes all the alterations, and sometimes adds bling to the dresses,” mentioned Nancy.
In the Prom Fairies five years, they have gone from outfitting that one student the first year to helping twenty-one students this graduation season. “We have been getting more kids every year,” said Nancy. “I advertise in the school bulletin and some students just drop by my room. It’s not as taboo to ask for help as it once was – the students seem more open now. We even have three boys this year so that’s exciting. We told them to choose what they wanted; if you want a top hat to go with your tuxedo then get a top hat,” added Wanda.
The Prom Fairies have been getting great support from the community for their popular cause. “When we held a bingo to raise money, many of the people who came brought dresses and suits with them to donate. Global Excel did a call out to their employees for dresses, and the Women’s Centre has helped,” said Nancy. The Galt Talent Show has helped raise money and they’ve been able to borrow dresses for their production. A raffle is going on right now to raise money for the Prom Fairies. The prize is a $600 voucher towards any concentration program (Art, Science or Sport) at Galt and the tickets can be bought from either one of the women.
Asked what they enjoyed about their roles as ‘Fairies’, Nancy said: “Just seeing their faces when they walk out of the hairdresser, maybe for
the first time, with more confidence.” Wanda added: “It’s nice to see kids, for once, getting what they wanted. And to see their reaction; they’re so grateful. On prom day I’ll be busy going to salons with the students and then I go to the prom. It’s a pretty tiring day, but it’s fun.”
There is still time to ask the Prom Fairies for help with this year’s graduations, whether for Elementary or High School. “Last year three International students came to us in the last week for help. We fixed them up. Students can approach us right up to the last week before the Galt prom,” said Ms. Grey. Students who need either a little or a lot of help to prepare for their big night can either talk to a teacher or Ms. Evans about the program, send a message to the Prom Fairies on FaceBook, or call Wanda Evans at 819 5657099 or Nancy Grey at 819 5697963.
Nancy Grey poses in her Prom Fairy t-shirt at the Bingo fundraiser.
Prom Fairies (left to right) Marie Letemplier and Wanda Evans are helping twenty students prepare for their graduations this year, lending dresses and suits and so much more.
The closet in the small room that Galt high school has donated to the Prom Fairies is stuffed with gowns, dresses and suits - just some of the Prom night possibilities.