Cinderella’s Closet opens for prom season

High school prom depicted in movies and TV shows is not usually what it is like in reality.

The movies make prom appear to be this massive event where everything has to be perfect and that it is the most important night of your high school experience; that you are supposed to look like a princess or prince to make your classmates’ jaws drop.

Honestly, I don’t think this is what prom is like for the average person.

My cousin is preparing for her junior prom so I have been reminded of the immense cost that comes along with it.

Prom gowns are often hundreds of dollars, shoes can be over $50 and that doesn’t include paying for dinner before the dance or a trip to the salon to get your hair and nails done.

I went to my senior prom in 2011 wearing a dress I bought myself for under $100 at Macy’s and my mom paid for me to get my hair done. I painted my own nails that morning after I got off work at the former Wendy’s on Washington Boulevard.

Not everybody has the capacity to pay for everything that goes into prom; it is a privilege to go.

This year, at the YWCA Northcentral PA, we are hosting the annual Cinderella’s Closet event to help make the prom dreams of local girls come true! Our hope is to give every person who walks into our building to get the royal treatment and everything they need for the big event.

We don’t want anyone to miss out on prom because they can’t afford it.

This year Cinderella’s Closet is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23 and from 2 to 6 p.m. March 24 at the YWCA gym, 815 W. Fourth St.

A major change is that all participants must schedule a 30-minute appointment to ensure that everyone has time to pick out their prom essentials.

Some of the other important things to know about Cinderella’s Closet are:

• This event is for 11th and 12th graders with a valid student ID. Home school and cyber school students also are welcome.

• We will only accept cash so please come prepared.

• Each student may bring an adult female with them if they choose.

• Everyone will be paired with a volunteer, also known as a fairy godmother, to take them through the racks and find the best fit for them.

• Please arrive to your appointment 15 to 30 minutes early to keep everything running smoothly.

The YWCA is still accepting donations of modern gowns, shoes and accessories! We are in need of plus sizes and extra small dresses.

Donations can be brought by the YWCA during business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

To make an appointment, please call Kahlie Dehotman, Boutique manager, at 570-322-4637 ext. 121.

All of the money raised during Cinderella’s Closet will support the YWCA’s programs Wise Options and Liberty House.

Wise Options provides free services to people who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault or other violent crimes. Liberty House is a shelter for women and women with children who are experiencing homelessness.

— Bloom is the communications and development manager at the YWCA, 815 W. Fourth St. Her column is published in monthly in the Lifestyle section. If you are experiencing domestic abuse or sexual assault, Wise Options can help 24/7 with a confidential hotline at 800-326-8483.