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Yorktown High School Launches Prom Dress Drive

Senior Keiyana Grant, one of Yorktown High School Prom Dress Drive's organizers.
Senior Keiyana Grant, one of Yorktown High School Prom Dress Drive's organizers. Photo Credit: Contributed

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Going to a prom is expensive and for many the cost of a dress gets to be too much. However, the newly formed Yorktown High School Prom Dress Drive just made things a lot less stressful for students who want to attend the prom but are worried about the cost.

The drive will help prom-goers find that perfect dress without cost and help donors declutter their home closets, according to a release.

The organizers are collecting donations of new/gently-used prom, bridesmaid or formal dresses that can be given to Yorktown High School girls, the release said. And this is their final push to gather merchandise before scheduling try-on sessions with students shortly.

The project is an initiative of YHS library staffer Claudine Raniolo and other staff and students, who hope to help girls find a dress they love in a supportive environment without the pressure of price tags. Many of the dresses have never been worn and all are in nice condition, according to the release.

“Every girl deserves to feel beautiful on this special occasion - their high school prom. I feel this is a great cause to help out Yorktown High School girls who want to save money, or just can't fit it in their budget," explained senior Keiyana Grant, who has taken on a leading role in this endeavor. "This drive is twofold: It gives people the opportunity to donate their dress to a good cause, and it also allows young women a chance to go to prom who may otherwise not have been able to afford it."

This project is part of her WISE (Wise Individual Senior Experience) program, and it ties in with Grant's goal to pursue a career in fashion and cosmetology.

“I genuinely like helping people, and helping them find their confidence,” Grant added.

So far the drive has netted more than 90 elegant gowns, tea-length dresses and short formals along with shoes, sandals, shawls and other accessories, the release said.

Dress sizes range from 0 to 18, said Raniolo, who emphasizes that there is still time for donations to be dropped off to the high school. All dresses must be appropriate for high school prom and in good condition.

“The more dresses and accessories we get, the better the selection,” she said. "Very soon all prom attendees will be invited to sign up for a private appointment to check out the stock, try on some dresses and hopefully find the perfect outfit.

Raniolo asks that everyone search their closets and attics for dresses that aren't damaged or have excessive stains as well as accessories such as shoes, handbags and shawls.

“So many of us have these dresses that were worn once and will not be worn again," said Raniolo. "Why not share and make this easier for our local teens."

Right now the need is for inventory. Items may be dropped off to a box in the lobby of Yorktown High School from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Those who need to make special arrangements are urged to email Raniolo at craniolo@yorktown.org.

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