Arlington, VA (PRWEB) April 15, 2014
Many teenage girls can only dream of a once in a lifetime shopping trip to New York City to pick out the perfect prom dress. This weekend, the USO, designer Sherri Hill and ‘Duck Dynasty’ stars Korie and Sadie Robertson made that dream come true for more than 240 military teens at Operation: That’s My Dress! at Chelsea Piers.
Operation: That’s My Dress! is a fashion extravaganza where military daughters had the opportunity to choose a dress designed and donated by Sherri Hill, international designer for Hollywood celebrities and pageant contestants. The full day of pampering included hair styling, makeup and time to pick out jewelry and accessories that completed their look for prom.
The day kicked off with a performance by the USO Show Troupe and a fashion show. ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Sadie Robertson was the first to walk down the runway in her 2014 Sherri Hill “Sadie Robertson Live Original” prom dress. Miss USA and Miss Teen USA state title holders also modeled Sherri Hill gowns on the runway, as teens looked on at the dresses they would later get to choose as their own.
The designer dresses, which came in all shapes and sizes, ranged in value from $450 to $1200. Designer Sherri Hill, who has donated more than $1 million worth of dresses to USO’s Operation: That’s My Dress!, attended the event on Sunday for the first time.
“It means a lot to be able to make this many girls happy,” said Hill. “Prom is a special moment for any girl. To be able to help make moments like this for hundreds of military teens is amazing to see – their eyes just light up when they find that perfect dress.”
USO of Metropolitan New York Vice President Ray Kennedy shared how Operation: That’s My Dress! is a time for the USO to make military teens feel special and give back to the military children who make sacrifices for our country.
“This is about more than a prom dress,” said Kennedy. “It’s about caring for our military families. It’s about connecting the moments that are so special–the moment each girl says, ‘I am pretty.’ It’s rewarding. It’s empowerment and it’s giving back to those who sacrifice so much.”
Sixteen-year-old Sadie Robertson, known best for her role on A&E’s hit series ‘Duck Dynasty’, created the “Sadie Robertson Live Original” dress collection with Sherri Hill and was excited to be there with her mom Korie.
“It is so cool because my dad did a USO tour last year for troops overseas and this is my way of giving back to military kids here at home,” said Sadie Robertson. “It’s exciting to make these special moments and help girls get ready for prom.”
After the show, the doors opened up to a fully stocked Dress Expo where more than 1,000 designer dresses glistened on the racks. Kristin Gagnon is a military mom to 10 children and drove an hour from West Point, NY to NYC. Her daughter Megan is the first girl in the family, and this was their first mother/daughter prom experience.
“It’s great to see time given to the children because they are sometimes the ones that are just towed along from one duty station to another and they’re just told to make the best of it,” said Gagnon. “This definitely was a day to give back. It was so nice to spend this time with Megan, and see her enjoy the day and really look forward to her prom with a beautiful dress.”
While at the Dress Expo, military teens were greeted by the USO Show Troupe plus Miss USA and Miss Teen USA title holders who personally helped them find a dress, jewelry and accessories for their upcoming prom. Miss Texas USA 2014 Lauren Guzman volunteered for her second Operation: That’s My Dress! She understands how important this is to military families because she also happens to be a sergeant in the Texas State Guard.
“Every girl that I helped today walked away with a dress they really loved,” said Guzman. “They can’t get this treatment at a store... It’s not about the dress. It is about the stories behind the dress, like the girl I met whose mom will be deployed to Afghanistan in May and the two sisters who I helped find dresses for their junior prom.”
While teens were at the Dress Expo, their families enjoyed the sports complex at Chelsea Piers. There were batting cages, trampolines, an indoor rock climbing wall and more. The entire day was made possible thanks to the generosity of many sponsors, including CNN, TAJ Event Productions, Tukaiz, Dunkin’ Donuts, Glitz, Neapolitan Express, MTV, L’Oreal, Indelible Impact, Muzzie’s, U-Haul, Paramount Hotel, Au Bon Pain, Serendipity, Coco’s Chateau, Marriott, Chi and Fashion Delivers.
The Chelsea Piers event is the fourth USO Operation: That’s My Dress! In the fall of 2014, Operation: That’s My Dress! will visit military families at a new location just in time for homecoming season.
USO Photos by Matthew Ziegler: https://uso.box.com/s/chzm7w281hk3vvd734u0
About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, The Coca-Cola Company, Grand Canyon University, JCPenney, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, Northrop Grumman Corporation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, BIC, The Boeing Company, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Procter & Gamble, TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG and Wawa Inc. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.