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The Current

Cinderella Project is fashion for the masses

Celeste Card, a junior, inspects donated prom dresses. Photo by Hailey Juergenson

Bruins helped local students find the perfect for area 2017 proms.

From March 1-30, Bear River hosted a dress drive to help collect prom dresses for the local Cinderella Project.

“The Cinderella Project’s mission is to build self esteem while making prom dreams come true,” said Cinderella Project volunteer Sarah Gordon. “We are a volunteer nonprofit organization of about 15 fairy godmothers who truly do work magic every prom season. We do this by providing prom attire for students in Nevada County and beyond who would otherwise not be able to attend their prom. We reach out to students’ whose circumstances vary but for whom prom is a dream. We have a boutique with over 500 dresses size 0-28 in Nevada City. I am the ‘Head Fairy Godmother’ so I have the wand with the most sparkle!”

Gordon also clarified who the Cinderella Project serves.

“Prom is a milestone event for many high school students,” she said. “It takes on even more significance if someone cannot go because of circumstances beyond their control. Students are referred to us by any adult who knows the situation of the student. This could be a relative, teacher, pastor, friend, counselor, anyone…  We would not turn anyone away who needed a dress to make their prom dreams come true. And because we encourage people to donate dresses every year, we make it possible for dresses to be worn more than once! Who wouldn’t want to feel beautiful for their prom? We make that magic happen! And we assist boys as well by helping with their tuxedo rental cost. We want everyone to be able to attend their prom looking fantastic in the perfect dress or tux! As we like to say, Bippity Boppity Boo!”

Senior Grace Tortorici, who helped organize the dress drive, discussed the history of working with The Cinderella Project at Bear River.

“It’s kind of a tradition,” she said. “It happens every year because they know that high schoolers are going to have prom dresses from the past that they’re going to be willing to donate because they’re not going to wear them again.”

Both BRHS and NU have helped with the Annual Dress Drive in February for the past 5 years,” Gordon said. “The student leadership at BRHS has also helped with participation in parades, fashion shows and fund raising. NU seniors have been involved with Cinderella Project for their Senior Project for the past 5 years. We welcome the participation of the high schools to help us reach as many students as we can.”

Gordon discussed how the dress drives benefit the project.

“The dress drives are a great way for students to ‘recycle’ gowns they have only worn once and to get the word out about Cinderella Project,” she said. “We also have a Dress Loaning Program… If you or your aunt or mom or neighbor have a fancy event to attend and only need a dress for one night, you can borrow it from Cinderella by making a donation. We have more than just prom dresses! (Think homecoming, weddings, fancy fancy fancy parties or other formal/semiformal events.) This is a win-win for everyone and serves that many more people in the community. We do not offer the dress loaning program during prom season, as that is when we are busy serving the students we reach out to.”

Juniors Jordan Mann and Alyssa Telles talked about the success of the drive.

“I definitely think it could have been more successful than it was which is a bummer,” said Telles.

“We haven’t gotten too many,” said Mann. “I’m not sure how many we’ve gotten in the past, so I don’t know what to compare it to, but as long as we get a few dresses and we can help a couple girls, then that’s good.”

Despite a small number of donations this year, The Cinderella Project is still a wonderful organization that provides prom attire to many people in Nevada County.

“It’s important because everyone deserves to have that experience because it’s just the typical high school experience, and if you can’t afford it I feel like you should still be able to go and have fun and have that opportunity,” Tortorici said.

“Some girls who really want to go to prom can’t afford it or have no way of getting a dress, and so by having this project they can have that opportunity and this fun experience,” said Mann.

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Cinderella Project is fashion for the masses