Montgomery Co. group makes prom dreams come true for teens in shelter

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A Montgomery County organization is helping some teens look their best on prom night

For 17-year-olds Gabriela and Shelby, prom is a dream.

"Prom is every girl's wish," said Gabriela. "Like, that's what they all want."

"When I was younger," adds Shelby,"I used to dream about it all the time."

The prom would be a break from reality. Both girls are currently living in a temporary shelter run by Montgomery County Youth Services.

"We house young people, 10 to 17, who've been abused, neglected, run away, homeless," says John Bracken, MCYS CEO. "Many of them are in Child Protective Service custody and have been placed here."

But thanks to a unique organization, girls like Shleby and Gabriela, who couldn't otherwise afford the cost of a dress and hair and makeup and shoes, could have the chance to go to prom without the
expense.

The Giving Gown Foundation offers underprivileged girls the opportunity of a free dress and all that goes with it.

"We found the average cost is $950," the foundation's Cassie Miller told Eyewitness News. "That's out of reach for a lot of families, so we provide this service for girls who in general wouldn't be able to
have this experience."

The foundation offers a "Boutique Day" on April 10 and 11 for the girls to shop for their dresses with a help of personal "fairy godmothers."

"They get to come in and we have all of the dresses and dressing rooms, jewelry, shoes and accessories," explained the foundation's creative director, Heather Edmonds. "We also have seamstresses on
site who can help with alterations."

This year, they've partnered with MW Cleaners, which is collecting the gowns through home pick-up and at their 35 locations.

"We'll clean the gowns," Said MW Cleaner's Ron Garrett, "And we'll press the gowns, and then donate them."

So far, more than 900 girls have registered for help, some of them without homes, like Shelby and Gabriela, but who still have the dream of a magical night at the prom.

The foundation is especially in need of shoes and accessories. If you'd like more information you can visit their website, GivingGown.org
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