With the rustle of taffeta and tulle, the lustre of silk and charmeuse, glittering sequins and jewels and rack upon rack of beautiful gowns, Cinderella’s Closet is taking the stress out of prom dress shopping by removing the cost.
Cinderella’s Closet, an outreach ministry of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Inverness, Citrus County, aims to provide prom dresses, accessories and spa services to graduating high school teens — not only in Citrus County but Pasco and Hernando counties too.
“This year, we have around 1,300 dresses, along with accessories, to give away on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 and we are so thrilled,” said Dana Davis, one of three event founders.
The 11th annual prom dress giveaway will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1100 W. Highland Blvd. in Inverness.
The ministry’s Cinderella theme this year is inspired by the song “Priceless” by For King and Country.
“It’s our goal is to make each young lady feel “Priceless,” she said. “Citrus Cinderellas is not only giving to Florida teens, we are also expanding internationally by donating some of our day-wear to women in the Philippines.”
Last year, Cinderella’s Closet gave out 139 dresses, and passed on over 500 dresses to other local ministries. In the last ten years, the program has given out over 1,300 dresses.
Students will have plenty of unique styles, cuts, fabrics, all sizes and dress lengths to choose from. There’s also about 80 Gorgeous Girl (size 20+) dresses available. Along with a free prom dress, girls can also select shoes, a purse and jewelry accessories.
On the day of the prom, the girls are pampered and preened by having their hair, makeup and nails done.
“On prom days, we like to make our girls feel like the princesses they truly are,” said co-founder Melinda Ferguson. “We will be offering a true spa experience — refreshments, nail painting, facials, professional hair and makeup done by professional cosmetologists generously donating their time to make these princesses feel as valuable and loved — the way God sees them. This year, our prom day services will be offered on April 7, 21, and 28.”
“We are also offering a free photography session when they are all ready for prom,” said co-founder Rachel Da Silva. “Each princess will receive a 5x7 photograph.”
Da Silva also added that single dads are encouraged to attend the giveaway with their daughters.
Prom time signals big bucks for parents when it comes to purchasing not only the dress but shoes, jewelry and accessories as well.
Throughout the year, Davis, Ferguson and Da Silva, plus their many valuable volunteers, collect new and gently-used formal dresses, shoes and accessories. Their treasure trove is then offered free of charge to area high school students to help make prom dreams come true.
Any high school student with current identification is welcome to participate at the annual, one-day event.
New this year to the annual event is a free steak dinner for the first 100 Citrus County high school prom-goers that make reservations.
“We’re so excited that First Baptist Church of Inverness is providing a this free dinner on April 28,” said Davis. “We are talking valet parking, white tablecloths, china, candles, and white twinkly lights to boot. It will be an elegant dining experience for all, couples, singles, and groups of friends.”
Also offered is a free self-defense class for moms and daughters.
“One of the things we really love about Cinderella’s Closet is that it allows us to help empower these young women,” said Davis. “We want our princesses (and their moms and sisters) to feel strong and confident — even in the worst of times.”
“We will be offering a free self-defense class facilitated by Juan Santiago of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office,” she said. “He is fantastic and passionate about equipping women — of any age — with the tools necessary to feel secure and confident. CCSO has been great about partnering with us.”
For more information about Cinderella’s Closet, call 352.201.7851.
IF YOU GO
11th annual Prom Dress Giveaway
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.,
1100 W. Highland Blvd. in Inverness.
Students must be seniors currently enrolled in an area high school — personal and school ID must be shown.