Project Prom sends teens off in style

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

Prom fever has hit South­ern Mary­land and any young ladies in search of the per­fect dress, shoes and jew­elry should know that Project Prom South­ern Mary­land is ready to give them a prom night to re­mem­ber, all free of cost.

On March 25, the founders of Project Prom South­ern Mary­land, Davita Ste­wart, LaKeysha Boy­dMoore and Robin Spriggs will as­sist lo­cal high school girls by get­ting them ready for ju­nior and se­nior prom. The group’s mission is sim­ple: “Let’s get young ladies dressed for prom,” and they are achiev­ing their goal by chang­ing up this year’s prom dress ex­trav­a­ganza.

“It’s our fourth year do­ing this project and now we’ve made it more in­tri­cate so it feels like their spe­cial day. We have time slots for them to come in so there are 10 girls per hour from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., which would al­low us to ser­vice over 60 young ladies. But we don’t turn any­one down if they still want to come,” Spriggs said.

“This year it’s not just for ju­niors and se­niors, it’s also for mid­dle-school aged stu­dents who are at­tend­ing their mid­dle school for­mal,” Boyd-Moore said. “We have al­most 300 dresses ar­ranged by size, length and color, as well as an ac­ces­sory ta­ble.”

On the day of the event, at­ten­dees will choose from an as­sort­ment of “new to them” for­mal dresses, shoes and ac­ces­sories at no cost. They also en­joy an as­sort­ment of door prizes, in­clud­ing prom tick­ets, gift cards, tuxedo rental, hairstyling and more. This year the event will be held at Life­Styles Inc. in La Plata and it is free just by sign­ing up.

The project is the re­sult of a col­lab­o­ra­tion of a small group of women busi­ness own­ers who hap­pen to be moth­ers all too fa­mil­iar with the ex­pense of prom.

“We all had high school se­niors around the same year and we were talk­ing about how ex­pen­sive it was send­ing them to prom. Ste­wart and Spriggs have girls and I have a son. We knew they won’t ever wear these things again so we wanted to fig­ure out a way to re­cy­cle these prom dresses. We all have a heart for ser­vice and wanted to do this for other par­ents with teens go­ing to prom,” Boyd-Moore said.

The group held the first event in 2013 and have served more than 120 girls since the in­cep­tion.

“I have two older girls and I knew that other young ladies were un­able to go to prom,” Spriggs said. “We wanted to make sure there was enough dresses for girls of any race or size be­cause when they look back at their high school years they will re­mem­ber that is a spe­cial time in their life.”

Boyd-Moore and Spriggs be­lieve that a prom dress is some­thing that a girl will al­ways cher­ish.

This year there is enough space for 70 girls in the area, that may be in need of prom at­tire. Boyd-Moore said in ad­di­tion to prom dresses, there are also de­signer shoes, scarves and cos­tume jew­elry for the girls to choose from. There is also a seam­stress avail­able to make al­ter­ations.

“It can be a emo­tional day,” Boyd-Moore said. “In or­der to par­tic­i­pate we ask that ev­ery girl come with a par­ent or guardian so it’s a great time for moth­ers and daugh­ters to shop to­gether. Pick­ing out a prom dress is like pick­ing out a wed­ding dress be­cause it’s some­thing that you will never forget.”

Spriggs said there is no cri­te­ria to par­tic­i­pate and the event pro­vides busi­nesses and res­i­dents a way to get in­volved with help­ing the lo­cal youth with a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Cur­rently, Project Prom South­ern Mary­land is seek­ing ad­di­tional prom dress do­na­tions as well as do­na­tions to­ward prom tick­ets, prom pic­tures, restau­rants, prom flow­ers, trans­porta­tion, bar­ber ser­vice and beauty and nail sa­lons.

“Ev­ery item that is brought in will change the life of a young lady. Some of them are ap­pre­hen­sive upon ar­rival but when they walk out of there they are smil­ing, cheer­ful and more con­fi­dent,” Spriggs said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www.pro­ject­prom­somd. com or find Project Prom South­ern Mary­land on Face­book.

One type of the many de­signer dresses that will be avail­able at Project prom South­ern Mary­land this Satur­day at Life­Styles Inc.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

At Project Prom South­ern Mary­land there are ta­bles full of de­signer shoes, scarves and cos­tume jew­elry for girls to choose from.

Project Prom in South­ern Mary­land at Life­Styles Inc. has more than 300 dresses avail­able for high school and mid­dle school girls in the lo­cal area.

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