Gowns running for free
Chloe Moore, Opinion and Variety Editor
May 6, 2012
Filed under Spotlight
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella. A poor, mistreated woman finds out she has a fairy godmother, who makes her dreams of going to a magical ball come true with a brand new, glamorous gown, a carriage and a pair of glass slippers. People might think that this story is nothing but a bunch of outlandish balderdash, and that it could never happen in our world.
But that may not be true for the young women at Harding, whose fairy godmothers come in the form of Teresa Holmes and Rebecca McQueen.
“A lot of our students don’t necessarily have a lot of money growing on a tree in their backyard,” said Teresa Holmes, a Visual Arts teacher here at Harding. “We’re just trying to make prom as affordable as possible. Prom should be for everyone whether or not they can afford it.”
Starting with a donation of gently used prom dresses from the U of M about 5 or 6 years ago, the set-up for free prom dresses had begun. “We’ve always been asked by students if we had access to dresses,” said Rebecca McQueen, AVID teacher at Harding. “We’re the school that most uses Operation Glass Slipper. We’re the biggest school with the most kids.”
Operation Glass Slipper provides less fortunate students in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area with prom dresses and accessories.
“I would say that between us and Operation Glass Slipper, about 175 students,” said McQueen, concerning the number of students who get free dresses every year.
Holmes said she started the free dress set-up at Harding “because prom is expensive. Dresses are expensive.” She also said that boys are able to lease their tuxes, but girls are required to buy their gowns.
Any student who needs a dress can acquire one just by going and asking Ms. Holmes for one. She said there are two ways to obtain these dresses. “Some girls go through counselors, and some come in and say ‘Hey, can I see if you have a dress for me?’”
Also, if a student does come looking for a dress, it is theirs to keep. “I have some who bring them back, but most kids tend to keep them,” said Holmes.
Holmes and McQueen get the dresses from all over. Holmes said that they get dresses from “anyone who is in the community, whoever wants to get ahold of us and who wants to get rid of their dresses.”
“People who don’t need them anymore bring them in and say ‘give them to someone who needs them,’” said Holmes. “Girls who need them can come in and see if one is for them.”
So, don’t forget. If you have dresses that you don’t need or wear anymore, then you can give them to Ms. Holmes in room 1242, where they will be put to good use. And if you are a student in need of a gown, then do not hesitate to ask, because Ms. Holmes and Ms. McQueen presumably have one for you to use.