Prom has emerged in the lives of highschoolers as a quintessential rite of passage for decades, but as many know, prom isn’t always as enjoyable for one’s wallet. Dresses can cost hundreds of dollars, anywhere from $100 to $400, or even more. There are other heavy expenses as well such as tickets themselves coming to $50 this year, limos, which can be up to $200 for the night, hair, probably another $75, makeup, $50 maybe, dependant upon whether the person is buying their own products or getting a professional makeover, resulting in a rough final price tag of around $775. Many have trouble affording such luxurious activities, at such high prices. To helop, the Johnson County Public Library began their own fundraiser to help those enjoy their prom night for a reasonable price.
Project Prom, as they call their fundraiser, is an event that the Trafalgar and Franklin branches of the Johnson County Public Library are sponsoring, and sponsor annually. Founded by Kelly Staten and a few other librarians, Project Prom has been helping students find their prom formal wear since 2013. This particular cause has brought the volunteers and visitors of the Johnson County Public Library together to collect dresses and other formal wear for those who cannot afford them.
“The goal of Project Prom is to help teens in need find formal wear. Prom is very expensive, yet something most high school students want to attend. Some may not be able to afford a dress and that’s where we are here to help,” Staten said.
Project Prom functions by collecting donations from around the community through donors charitably providing their gently used formal wear for redistribution on a later date.
“The library collects dress donations year round at all four of our branches. In the spring we have two large programs at our branches and teens can come in and look for dresses. If they find something, it’s free for them to take home,” Staten said.
Programs like Project Prom exist to help those in need live their prom night of their dreams, even if their budgets don’t fit the cost. Just helping others makes all the work these people put into it worth it.
“I think just seeing how happy the teens are when they find a dress is my favorite part; some girls have searched everywhere and couldn’t find a dress that fit them right, then found one through us. There have been a lot of happy tears and smiling faces. That’s the best part,” Staten said.