Non-profit alleviates financial burden of prom

Non-profit alleviates financial burden of prom

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - With prom season just around the corner, young ladies across the Coast are in search of the perfect dress.

While many browse the racks of gown shops and malls, 19-year-old Kiera Taylor spent Saturday trying on dresses at the Boys & Girls Club-Forrest Heights Unit.

The Harrison Central senior even brought her dad along to help.

"I tend to let her pick her own stuff, but I kind of give my input. I still want her to be covered up and stuff like that," said Kenneth Taylor.

Although the racks of dresses, and tables full of shoes and accessories, may have mimicked those at a department store, there was one stark difference - everything was absolutely free.

Project Prom, an annual event hosted by non-profit organization The Pink Lotus Project, gives area high school girls the opportunity to be glamorous without a financial burden.

"The dresses are absolutely free," said Pink Lotus Project founder, Jocelyn Lane. "They don't have to pay anything for the dress."

Girls from Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson county high schools applied online for the event. Dozens of dresses and accessories were donated by local businesses, giving attendees lots of options - and lots of decisions.

Beginning at 9 a.m., the young ladies were required to participate in several workshops - including a session on self-confidence - before they could shop for a dress.

Kiera eventually found a purple, floor-length gown for her special night.

"When I tried it on, I fell in love with it," said Kiera. "Then, I got the earrings that match with it. So now all I [have] to do is find the shoes and the bra, and everything, and I'll be looking good."

As for dad?

"I love it. When I saw it on her....I think it looked very beautiful. I'm just glad that she's happy, and that's the most important thing." Kenneth said.

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