The Prom Shop Project makes Prom Dreams Come True

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The Prom Shop Project gives prom gowns to girls in need. For the sixth year, The Prom Shop Project will provide prom dresses to area junior and senior girls who financially qualify. Girls can choose gowns and accessories at the Prom Shop Boutique at Highland Mall on Saturday, March 22 from 11-3 p.m. in the former Limited Too store.

Girls start lining up hours before the shop opens. You see the excitement in their eyes and when they find that perfect dress and come out to show their parent(s), it's like pure magic

Springtime brings prom season and a local group wants to make sure that every girl in the Austin area has an opportunity to have a beautiful dress, even if she can't afford one. For the sixth year, The Prom Shop Project will provide prom dresses to area junior and senior girls who financially qualify. Girls can choose gowns and accessories at the Prom Shop Boutique at Highland Mall on Saturday, March 22 from 11-3 p.m. in the former Limited Too store.

Girls can be referred to the program by either their school counselor, church or other social service organization by bringing a signed note on letterhead. Girls must bring their student i.d. and proof they are enrolled in a free or reduced school lunch program. They are also allowed to bring one parent or guardian. Eligible girls are encouraged to pre-register at the promshopproject.com web site.

The program is run by Sophie Perkins, who launched the Austin Prom Shop after helping her college sorority sister, Kim Peters, run the Dallas Prom Shop which was founded in 2001. Perkins has a core group of volunteers, many who are students themselves that help her pull of the retail event. Volunteer Carmen Scott keeps returning to work the event because she sees the direct impact of the program. "Girls start lining up hours before the shop opens. You see the excitement in their eyes and when they find that perfect dress and come out to show their parent(s), it's like pure magic," says Scott.

Dresses, formal shoes and handbags can be dropped off at the "Spring Giving" event, Saturday, March 8th at Highland Mall from 11-3 p.m. at the former Limited Too store. Items can also be dropped off at any Westbank Dry Cleaning location until March 5th. This is the second year for the dry cleaner to partner with the organization. Donated dresses should be current styles, clean and hanging and the group especially needs plus-size gowns. Sophie Perkins emphasizes they can't guarantee that every girl will find a dress, but the group strives to provide a diverse selection from which to choose.

Perkins hopes to serve at least 250 girls this season. Some girls go to great lengths to attend the shopping day. Last year, Shante Fisher drove from San Antonio to get her dress. "Believe me, it was worth the drive to Austin. I received so many compliments on my dress. Thanks to the Prom Shop and all the volunteers, I truly had a night to remember," said Fisher.

Sophie Perkins stresses the program is not just about beauty, but more about having the girls feel good about who they are. "These girls are struggling to get by and hopefully this helps keep them motivated to stay in school. We may not actually have magic wands, but we create a little magic for each and every girl."

Media inquiries contact:
Sophie Perkins
512.680-9208

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