Cinderella events aim to help all girls feel beautiful on prom day
Prom marks a special event for many teen girls, an excuse to dress up in formal gowns, accessories and hairdos before going out with friends.
If you go
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat., March 1
WHERE: North Charleston Dream Center, 5505 N. Rhett Ave., North Charleston
MORE info: www.cinderelladaycharleston.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat., March 8
WHERE: John Wesley United Methodist Church, 626 Savannah Highway, West Ashley
MORE info: cinderellaproject charleston.com or email Cinderella ProjectCharleston@gmail.com
But the cost of those gowns, not to mention shoes and jewelry, can add up to far more than many families can afford.
So seven years ago, a group at Seacoast Church set out to create Cinderella Day, an annual opportunity for teen girls to shop, at no cost, for gently used prom dresses, shoes, jewelry and a host of other items.
The idea: Every girl deserves to feel beautiful at her prom regardless of her financial means.
Cinderella Day took off and continues again this year on March 1 when the North Charleston Dream Center, 5505 N. Rhett Ave., will host Cinderella Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Dream Center, a part of Seacoast, is partnering with businesses and stylists to provide free dresses, food and other giveaways.
The event focuses on serving girls from Title 1 schools, event spokeswoman Andrea Lewis said. Participation is free, and family and friends are welcome.
"The biggest thrill of Cinderella Day is seeing the smiling face of a girl when she finds the dress because moments before, the task seemed unimaginable and the funds unobtainable," Lewis said. "It is exciting to know that the experience can make the inside of a girl feel valued by dressing up the outside."
Girls will be partnered with personal shoppers to find their favorite gowns and other items along with getting makeovers.
Cinderella Day began in 2008 when 120 girls attended. This year's goal is to serve 350 girls.
For those who want to help, Cinderella Day organizers are seeking donations of new and gently used gowns now through Feb. 28. They also are seeking donations of jewelry, shoes, restaurant gift certificates, corsages and limos along with volunteer assistance from makeup artists and hairstylists.
Donations can be dropped off at several locations: at the Dream Center, Seacoast Church's Mount Pleasant campus (look for a shed in the back parking lot), Geneology in Mount Pleasant's Towne Centre, Broadway Images Salon in North Charleston, and Bits of Lace on King Street in downtown Charleston.
Last year, local businesses and residents donated more than 800 dresses along with shoes, bras, handbags and jewelry.
For more, go to www.cinderelladaycharleston.com or email email@example.com.
A week after Cinderella Day, a separate local nonprofit will invite girls in need of prom dresses and accessories to the 2014 Cinderella Project.
For 13 years, law students and alumni have organized the event. This year's donors include Charleston School of Law, Gown Boutique of Charleston, Bridals by Jodi, Stella Nova, Berenice's Salon and others.
Cinderella Project runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 8 at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 626 Savannah Highway in West Ashley.
For more, including a list of donation drop-off sites, go to www.cinderellaprojectcharleston.com or email CinderellaProjectCharleston@gmail.com.
Reach Jennifer Hawes at 937-5563, follow her on Twitter at @JenBerryHawes or subscribe to her at facebook.com/jennifer.b.hawes.