Biloxi Prom Receives A Pennsylvania Present - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi Prom Receives A Pennsylvania Present

A Biloxi student pulled a stunning red dress out of a box. Next to her was another student holding a black gown. If they were excited about this gift from Pennsylvania, they didn't show it.

Kelly Norris is one of the sponsors of Biloxi's annual prom.

"I just don't think they can comprehend that someone is actually going to provide all of their needs," she said.

That someone was Biloxi's fairy godmother -- a Pennsylvania woman named Joyce Jesko who shipped 400 gowns, 100 pairs of shoes and cosmetics to Biloxi, "So we can put a prom on for this high school," she wrote in an e-mail to WLOX News.

"It's a dream come true," Norris said.

Especially for junior class president Katie Smith.

"There are like no words for this. This is absolutely incredible," Smith said.

Before the shipment arrived, Smith faced a daunting task. She had to plan her school's prom. And in post Katrina Biloxi, that wasn't very easy.

"We had no idea what we were going to do about prom. There are no places we could ever have it, ever," she lamented.

And then the gowns arrived. And so did a rather amazing promise. Bucks County, Pennsylvania would send eight chefs to Biloxi on April 22nd, specifically to cook dinner for every prom couple.

Seniors like Emily Harper, who lost everything in the hurricane, weren't going to miss out on their final high school dance.

"It's just amazing that they're giving us all of this stuff," Harper said.

Norris was overwhelmed by the generosity.

"We have someone calling, saying, 'I'm going to do it all so you don't worry about it.' We're just going to show up... and it will all come together," she said. "So it's a dream come true."

Emily Harper was almost speechless.

"Thank you so much. I can't say enough. I don't even know what to say. I'll just say thank you," she said, just before she pulled another dress out of a shipping box, and hung it on a rack in Biloxi High's gym.

Biloxi's junior/senior prom is at the Woolmarket Community Center.

by Brad Kessie

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