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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Group offers formal gowns to girls in need

  • For the second year in a row, organizers will be hosting the Princess Project, this time with a new location and more days.
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  • For the second year in a row, organizers will be hosting the Princess Project, this time with a new location and more days.
    The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following days: Saturdays March 2, 9, 23 and 30, at Smith Family Powersports, 921 Francis Ave., Neosho (near Crowder College).
    All dresses are free to Newton County high school students, and on a first come, first serve basis. Organizers are asking for the dresses to be formal and within the last five years.
    "The main purpose is to provide prom dresses for anyone who wants to go to the prom," said Debi Smith, an organizer of the event. "It is like my business (Junk'n Sista's) is recycling and reusing. Prom dresses are very expensive. This way, if we can provide the dress, that takes a big savings in someone's budget. There are so many girls that want to go and with the economy and families, if you have more than one girl even going, that is a great, great expense for some families."
    Thus far, there are more than 350 dresses to choose from, with various sizes and styles.
    However, the organizers are needing more dresses.
    "What we are (needing) now is big sizes 14 -24, is what we desperately need," she noted.
    They also need shoes and jewelry.
    The project is also hoping to expand in the future.
    "Our hope and vision for the future is that we realize that we need the vendors on the day of prom," Smith said. "A lot of these programs have a two-step, they have the Princess Project where you get the dress and then they also do the Fairy Godmother where they transform you with makeup and hair. We can't do that this year, but our hope is to do that next year."
    As far as the response from those who received a dress last year, Smith summed it up with a story.
    "When they find the one that fits, the one that they know that they want, they are just like 'wow' we have full length mirrors set up," she said. "They are so excited when they find one. It is just exciting to see these girls get all excited. One girl last year said 'I feel like Cinderella.' She had a big poofy dress."
    The students will be able to try on the dresses at the event's location. There will be two to three dressing rooms at the location.
    Those who receive a dress, can keep them or give them back.
    "We allow them to keep them, our theory is it is a gift," Smith said. "If they want to re-donate it. We did get about 10 dresses back from the (Neosho High School Air Force Junior ROTC) military ball girls. We put a pink box or a box with Princess Project in the high school for them to just put them in, if they don't want them anymore. But if they want to keep them, they are welcome to keep them."
    Page 2 of 2 - For anyone who wants to donate, they can do so at the Impact Thrift Store, located near Steve's Auto.
    For more information, call 592-3871 or 529-6199.

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