A Cinderella story
In 2009, the Community Council, a group that works to increase self-confidence and esteem in young women, created Prom Dresses with a Purpose, a drive that aimed to collect prom dresses. The drive raised over 1,000 dresses for high school girls. Since 2009, over 3,000 high school girls have been helped.
Prom Dresses with a Purpose’s success sparked The Cinderella Project, which helps Metro St. Louis area high school junior and senior girls who are unable to acquire a prom dress on their own. Counselors refer students to the Cinderella Project.
The Cinderella Project teamed up nationally with Donatemydress.org, a campaign with Seventeen Magazine that encourages girls to donate their gently used prom and special occasion dresses to those who need them, in 2010. Due to their success, the Metro St. Louis chapter of the Cinderella Project was given the Purple Dress Award. Only thirteen other dress projects were awarded this nationwide.
In 2012 alone, the Cinderella Project reached 150 girls from the metro area. These 150 girls received a free gown, along with alterations, hair styles and makeovers the day of prom. This year, over 200 girls have been referred by their schools.
Very Important Prom-Goers (VIPs) are given the first selection of dresses before stores are made open to the public. Short gowns may be purchased for $29 and long formals for $39. The opening day, “Pink Saturday,” typically starts with hundreds of girls lined up outside of the boutique. “Pink Saturday” is March 9. The Cinderella Project boutique is located at Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters.
The Cinderella Project provided dresses and prom-day makeovers for multiple Parkway West juniors and seniors.
“My favorite part was getting to try on any dress to see which one I liked best. It made me feel like a princess,” senior Camari Shannon said.
Shannon’s dress was fitted and tailored. In addition, Cinderella Project candidates were given the opportunity to pick out jewelry and purses from a wide selection provided.
“It was a lot of fun and really exciting because this is my senior prom and I felt the energy. The people working could not have been any nicer; they really made it a great experience,” Shannon said.