Project Prom helps girls get glamorous

TYLER (KYTX) - Some East Texas seniors are getting antsy for the end of the year, and one big night.

Prom is right around the corner.

There's a new program at Robert E. Lee High School to help students who may not have the more than $1,100 to go.

That's the average cost according to time magazine.

It's called Project Prom.

Robert E. Lee's prom is May 18th and one teacher took it upon herself to help girls who wouldn't be able to get a dress.

"It's blue, got one shoulder, it's long. I'm excited," says Nicole Overmeyer, a Robert E. Lee senior.

Most high school seniors are excited about prom, and if you ask about the dress and accessories...

"It has to be perfect," says Overmeyer.

Overmeyer says she got a good deal, but what if you can't afford it?

"Prom is averaging $1,100 and dresses are about $250 a piece. For one night, that's a lot of money," says Brynlea Cunniff.

The ride, shoes, hair, nails and dress add up fast.

That's why English teacher Cunniff decided to start Project Prom.

"I feel every girl deserves to feel like a princess, no matter their financial background," says Cunniff.

Cunniff started this 6 years ago in Coppell, and saw the need in Tyler.

She asked people to drop off dresses at the school, for girls to browse and rent for free.

"A girl had on a dress that was my daughters and it takes you back to that night when she was all fixed up and that girl was very excited," says Susan Stubblefield, a teacher at Lee who donated dresses.

Stubblefield donated two dresses because she knows students who wouldn't be able to go without a little help.

You're not seeing the girls in order to protect their identities.

While they're grateful, many are embarrassed they can't buy a dress of their own.

"I thought it was a great way for them to go to prom and still feel special," says Stubblefield.

"Dresses, sparkles, sequins, you can't beat it," says Cunniff.

Adding a little sparkle to the special night.

"I don't care if I do this for one girl, I'd do it for one girl just to make a difference in her life for sure," says Cunniff.

And to top it off, the girls have the option of getting make overs, and even their hair done.

Cunniff says she will take dresses in the early part of next week because prom is next Saturday.

Just drop them off at the school with a note saying they're for the project.

Cunniff hopes to grow the program next year to help more students.

And even to branch out to help with homecoming and other dances at the school.


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