GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- To ease the financial burden of paying for prom, hundreds of high school girls are getting the royal treatment thanks to Cinderella's Closet.
Put on by Mix 95.7, Cinderella's Closet is an annual event that gives girls in need a free prom dress, shoes and jewelry to wear to prom.
“We probably have close to 1,000 dresses," says volunteer Wendy Reed.
Last year the event helped dress over 200 girls and this year, Reed hopes they can help 350.
On Saturday at Rivertown Crossings Mall, there was a long line of girls ready to pick out their special outfits.
“Obviously, some dresses, you may fall in love with a dress and be like, ‘I can’t afford it,'" says Mix 95.7 host Christine George. "We don’t want that to be the case for any girls. That’s what this is all about.”
Every dress, pair of shoes and piece of jewelry was donated by community members. Every item donated goes a long way to give these girls' wallets a break.
According to a 2017 Yahoo! survey , the average Midwestern family spent over $600 on prom. The average dress costs over $300.
Just because the Cinderella's Closet dresses are free doesn't mean they're second best.
“We go through all the dresses that are donated and make sure there’s no stains, there’s no broken zippers or anything like that," George says. “In fact, when we were going through them yesterday, some of these dresses still have price tags on them. There was one that had a $300 price tag, so these are good, quality dresses.”
The volunteers at Cinderella's Closet and everyone that donated a gently used dress knows that this cause is about more than just a dress; it's about giving girls the confidence to feel beautiful on their big day.
There are also Cinderella's Closet events in Lansing and Kalamazoo.