News and Tribune

Clark County

January 31, 2009

Prom Aid lends a fashionable hand in Southern Indiana

Provides free prom clothing to high schoolers

For high school students, it’s the last big bash. The party of all parties. The final dance before school’s out forever.

Prom.

But the celebration comes with a big price tag. For boys, the occasion calls for renting a tuxedo or buying a nice suit, tie and flowers for the date.

For girls, prom means dropping big bucks on shoes, accessories and a dress that will probably be worn once and then never again. And as the list goes on, the tab adds up.

For some students, the price is enough to keep them away. But local 4-H students hope to change their minds by offering free formal wear.

Prom Aid, now in its second year, is the brainchild of members of 4-H Junior Leaders. The 4-H’ers are collecting formal-wear donations, and hope to have enough to accommodate students in need of prom clothing.

“There’s a lot of kids in the community that didn’t go to prom because it’s too expensive,” said Kayla Brooks, Junior Leader treasurer.

Brooks, an 18-year-old Charlestown High School student, is in her 10th year of 4-H. Along with her fellow Junior Leaders, she has been trying to track down dresses and suits by posting fliers in area schools. But there’s still work to be done.

Brooks estimates that between 20 to 30 dresses have been collected, but no suits. And last year, only one boy’s outfit was donated.

Brooks hopes to see more come in before the group invites all area high school students to the Clark County Fairgrounds Community Building from 1-5 p.m. Feb. 8 to select free prom wear.

“How many people have a closet full of dresses they’ll never wear again?” said Matt Owen, a ninth-year 4-H member and Jeffersonville High School student. “We’ll take donations from anybody.”

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