Cinderella has nothing on these girls. And lucky for them, they won’t turn into pumpkins at midnight.
On March 5, for the eighth year in a row, the Assistance League of Los Angeles collaborated with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for the Operation School Bell Prom Day. The annual event provides free prom dresses, shoes and accessories to more than 70 homeless and low-income high school girls chosen from 17 LAUSD high schools.
“With Prom Day, the League is proud to applaud these young women who are poised to graduate high school with confidence and begin a new chapter in their lives,” says Melanie Merians, Assistance League of Los Angeles CEO.
Racks upon racks of donated sparkling dresses lined every spare inch of the room. Thirty volunteers from the Hancock Park branch of the NGA were on hand to help the girls find the perfect color, length and fit for the big night. If needed, seamstresses were on hand to make adjustments.
“It is such a privilege to help the girls with their selections so they can shine and feel special at their proms,” says Beverly Castaldo-Brown, president of NGA Hancock Park. “Sadly, lack of funds prevents so many kids from participating in this culminating event.”
After finding the ideal dress, the girls then stepped into a myriad of shoe choices. To pull the entire ensemble together, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other baubles were available for the picking, as well as make-up by professionals.
“The girls looked so fabulous in their gowns,” says Castaldo-Brown. “But nothing was more beautiful than their smiles when they caught sight of themselves in the mirror.”
“It’s a highlight of our NGA calendar to join OSB and act as fairy godmothers for a day,” concludes Castaldo-Brown.
By Sondi Sepenuk