Project Prom aims to help teens look their best

When it occurred to seamsstress Angela Brule that some local teens might benefit from a a kind of prom dress bank she talked it over with Community Connections' Outreach Manager Patti Larson (right) and Community Youth Program organizer Sheena Bell Centre. The results is a collection of prom dresses for girls and, hopefully, suits and formal wear for boys who find decent formal wear beyond their reach, financially. David F. Rooney

By David F. Rooney

As we all remember, the teen years are filled with angst, embarrassment and a horror of looking inappropriate, uncool, unfashionable and/or undesirable. There are plenty more fears afflicting teens in every generation, but what struck local seamstress and tailor Angela Brule the most was the potential for embarrassment when it came to prom clothing.

“I had a young girl come to me for alterations with a friend,” she said in an interview Wednesday. “One of the girls had a dress that was too large and the other one had a dress that was in really, really bad shape. It broke my heart.”

It occurred to Angela that this one girl’s predicament was probably not unique so she called Patti Larson, the Outreach Services manager at Community Connections. The two talked about it and eventually thrashed together the glimmers of an idea that could benefit local young people who can’t afford to buy decent prom clothes. They then contacted Sheena Bell of the Community Connections Youth Program and the three of them put the finishing touches on what they are calling Project Prom.

The trio are hoping thoughtful Revelstokians will see the merit in their project and dig out “gently used” prom dresses, formal or business wear suitable for boys and girls that can be worn to Prom on May 1 and other semi-formal events during the school year.

“There’s an application process for this,” Bell said. “And there will be a small fee for laundering and dry cleaning. But basically we’re trying to get as many dresses and suits as we can that will be suitable for teens.”

She said they will also be accepting accessories and shoes to go with the clothes.

Larson said they are already looking for grants to help pay for storage and cleaning of the clothes that will be in the Project Prom clothing bank. They also hope people will look through their clothes and find things that would be suitable.

“It’s heart-wrenching when you’re a teen and you can’t afford to look good on what is probably one of the most important nights of your life,” Brule said.

Ideally, people will remember their own teen-age years, then exercise some real thought when they go through their wardrobes and pick dresses and suits or tuxes that they think a teen might wear.

For more information please contact Project Prom at 250-837-2920.