‘Project Prom Dress’ a Runway Hit with Local High School Students

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By: Kevin Howard

Students visited the Hopeloft to try on dresses and accessories to wear to their prom.
Students visited the Hopeloft to try on dresses and accessories to wear to their prom.

BRIDGETON, N.J. – Cumberland and Salem county prom-goers headed to the Hopeloft building in Bridgeton for the opportunity to receive free prom dresses during Project Prom Dress.

Held on Friday, April 26th, the event had asked community members to donate prom dresses, dress shoes, and jewelry for county students to wear on their big night out.

The project was conducted by Families to College in association with CASA of CGS and Operation South Jersey.

Hillary Nichols, founder of Operation South Jersey, helped plan the event and explained why she was so passionate about ensuring local kids could get a dress for prom night.

“It’s one of those moments for every teenager, that’s like, a moment that you do remember, and it is special,” Nichols said. “And I think that is something that we want to do, to make sure that these kids have some normalcy and one of those things is to find a dress for prom, because prom is a big deal.”

About 25 students came to Project Prom Dress to try on prom dresses, dress shoes, and jewelry. The project collected over 150 dresses for students to peruse through.

While some prom-goers want to show-off their dress, one student who went to Project Prom Dress was happy to find a dress.

“Some girls, they wanna’ top other girls off, I honestly don’t care, as long as I have a dress,” Ce’Aeira Johnson, a student from Bridgeton High School, said.

The first 10 Cumberland County students that arrived had the opportunity to sign up to have their hair and makeup done by volunteers for free on prom day.

Luz Gonzalez, Mentor Manager for Families to College, is grateful for all of the support that has been given to help teens find their perfect prom dress.

“Everyone has donated, they have been more than gracious to help us, you know, with the short dresses, long dresses, really ‘blinged-out’ dresses, and simpler dresses,” Gonzalez said. “But the community, they have just been overwhelming with their love and their donations and all that, we are very, very fortunate.”

Prom will be held on June 6th for Vineland students and May 10th for Millville and Bridgeton students.

Project Prom Dress still has a lot of dresses in all sizes for students to choose from. If you or someone you know are in need of a dress, dress shoes, and accessories, call Luz Gonzalez at 856-391-9168 to schedule a time to visit the Hopeloft building at 40 E. Commerce Street in Bridgeton.



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