April 13, 2017
By Sarah Sobanski
Hastings Prince Edward District School Board’s Prom Project is back and in full swing.
Prom Project sees beautiful dresses and gentlemanly suits donated to students who need formal wear for memorable, youthful rights of passage such as high school prom and Grade 8 graduation. This year’s event will be held the at North Hastings High School April 27. It’s now seeking donations. The first was held April 6 at Quinte Secondary School.
As of April 11, NHHS teacher Kelly Waterbury estimated the project had received 150 dresses and between 20 and 30 suits — already more than “ever before.”
“There are $800 dresses here that were worn one night, with dry-cleaning they look brand new. Everything is top quality. We don’t put it out if it’s not really nice,” said Waterbury. “We say save that money for a limo for the night or dinner out. Use your money elsewhere because this event is supposed to be for everyone. We do find all demographics, all walks of life, come to it.”
She added, “Sometimes girls think they want to go shopping for their prom dress, and they find the perfect one there.”
Waterbury said on the day of the event, board chair Lucille Kyle turns the high school’s stage into a boutique shopping experience — where everything is free, including future alterations and dry cleaning. Seamstress Jenn Martin of Niffers Clothing will be on hand that day to pin clothes for students for alterations.
It’s not just about dresses and suits. Waterbury also hoped to have a makeup artist and hairstylist on hand to give tutorials for getting ready on the days of these special events. Students will receive giveaways such as clutches and dress shirts and ties. They’ll also have the opportunity to check out the perfect pair of shoes and jewelry.
There will be music, snacks, drinks, door prizes — so far donated by Brown’s Hair Design Studio, Headstart, Shoppers Drug Mart, IDA, and Posies — and giveaways to create an inviting atmosphere for everyone including parents and community members.
“We want people to come and mingle and try things on. It’s an event,” said Waterbury. “We promote Prom Project as a green event. Let’s up-cycle those clothes instead of sitting in the closet until they’re out of style.”
Everyone is welcome at Prom Project. Waterbury explained that students of all ages can get formal wear for all occasions including graduation, prom and more — even if they have a wedding to attend this summer.
“We don’t ask any questions, we just say come find what you need. We just encourage,” Waterbury smiled thinking of students that come and show off their outfits to show how good they look. She remembered one
Donations can be dropped off at the front desk at NHHS. Waterbury said there is a special need for extra small sizes such as a size two and larger sizes such as a size 24. The event kicks off at 3 p.m. and runs until 5:30 p.m.