Grad gown giveaway is on

Local woman collects dresses, shoes, jewelry so all girls can go to prom

Monica Kurth wears one of the prom dresses that will be available for any girl who can not afford to purchase one

GIRLS WHO are graduating this year and can’t afford to go to graduation and prom don’t have to worry about the high cost of a dress thanks to a local woman.

Darlene Reid is collecting all these items for girls so everyone can go to grad and prom and not be left out.

She says that also includes getting the girls’ hair, makeup and nails done to complete the look.

So far she has bought seven gowns and has a room in her house dedicated to it.

“I’ve known about the Cinderella Project in Vancouver for 20 years but never thought about it,” said Reid, referring to the Lower Mainland charity that gives less fortunate girls lightly used prom dresses so they can go to prom with their friends.

She put her girls through grad and didn’t think too much of it, saying it’s just the cost of having kids and is a huge milestone.

Last year, while getting ready for grad, she heard about a girl she’d known for many years who couldn’t afford to go to her graduation and it started her thinking that there had to be more girls in the same situation.

The girls will get to keep the gowns, said Reid.

“They’ve earned them after 12 years,” she said, adding that if the girls want to donate the gowns back to her, that’s okay too.

Girls can come over to her house to try on the gowns and it will all be confidential.

Only one girl will come over at a time and she won’t put names on anything, just numbers.

And anyone who wants to let someone else wear their gown, or pretty costume jewelry, or shoes, can help out too.

“I’ll take anything. I’ll take gowns, shoes somebody might have worn once for a wedding and thought they might wear again and never wore them,” said Reid, adding that includes costume jewelry, as you can get some really pretty beaded necklaces and little bracelets and earrings.

The dresses will be dry cleaned, a local hairdresser has volunteered to do hair, the nail salon will do makeup and nails and Reid will do simple alterations and if more are needed, a dressmaker in town will do them.

“I kick myself for not doing it 10 years ago,” she said, adding if she ever moves out of town, she will be looking for someone to take over the grad gown giveaway.

People have already brought in some gowns to her and she thanks them.

“They are beautiful and I am sure they will be loved by the girls that get them and are able to go to their prom,” she said.

Anyone with something to donate or who wants to get a gown for grad can call Reid at 975-0789 after 8 p.m. weekdays or anytime on weekends or email youllbethere@hotmail.com.