Cinderella Project Gives Girls the Perfect Prom Dress

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Erica Stapleton

Updated 4 months ago

You hear about people waiting in line for concert tickets, or maybe the latest food fad — but what about prom dresses?

“10:30, I think? It’s been a long night,” say Searsport students.

That would be 10:30 PM – some girls camped out overnight at Reny’s Plaza in Belfast for for these dresses. The incentive? They’re free.

“We’re here to find a dress for Emily. We drove down from the Orono area.”

“These prom dresses that you find in shops now are so expensive that it puts prom out of reach for so many girls who can’t afford it. So the Cinderella Project is allowing all girls to be Cinderella for a night and its a beautiful thing.”

The Cinderella Project in Maine has grown over the past nine years — there were hundreds of girls waiting in line.

“Our fundamental wish for the Cinderella project is to make sure that every girl feels like she is the only one here,” says volunteer Jess Woods.

The fairy godmothers on scene help make that possible.

“They’re steaming, hanging, sewing, helping try on; they’re doing everything for these girls right now to get them the perfect dress.”

And I was able to catch back up with Emily in her hunt for that perfect dress.

“I’m actually very surprised – they have a very wide selection the dresses are very beautiful,” Emily says.  “I’m very excited .”

Donated gowns make up the vast selection. After scouring the racks, girls lined up to try them on. Emily was lucky her first time around.

“When you put it on you just kind of know it makes you feel pretty.”

“As soon as she put on the dress she looked beautiful in it,” says Emily’s friend Beth.  “She looked absolutely stunning.”

And the perfect find gets girls excited for their special night.

“Showing off my dress and showing all the boys who could have dated me, you could have had this!”

The fairy godmothers hope that these confidence boosts inspire girls after prom.

“We’re really hoping that the spirit of the Cinderella Project goes year round.  The prom season may end in June but that they will continue to think about the project and how it made them feel and pay it forward.”

For many girls, paying it forward means donating the dress back to the charity.


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