Project Prom helps students shine

With this initiative, graduating students can avail of dresses, accessories and more for free

Project Prom helps students shine

Photo Credit: Getty Images

After two years of cancellations, proms in Quebec have been given the go-ahead, and students are thrilled at the return of the in-person event. But, not all families and students can afford the expenses that come with the celebration. To help alleviate some of the costs, Project Prom is making sure that this season’s graduates have a dress, suit, and accessories that fit their style for the big night.

High school volunteer initiative

Thanks to the efforts of two educators at Macdonald High School, students graduating from grades 6 and 11 will be able to attend their celebrations — without worrying about the cost of their ensembles.

At the school, a rainbow of prom dresses, shirts and ties, and sparkling shoes share storage space with the theatre department. Co-organizers ​​Vanessa Parasuco and Jaime Guy have been collecting formal wear over the past few years, and have collected more than 300 dresses in various styles and sizes. Suits and jackets in tween and youth sizes have been harder to come by, but a recent plea on social media was answered with much-needed donations.

“We recently did a shoutout saying how we’re opening up and including grade six, and we need smaller sized suits. People came [with donations] and were fantastic,”  Parasuco says.” We had an open house last weekend, which was very successful. Almost everybody walked out with at least something, either a pair of shoes, a purse, or makeup.”

Parasuco said that only one young lady wasn’t able to find a dress, though she did pick out shoes and a purse, and they will continue to try and help find her a dress.

Upcoming open house 

With celebrations fast approaching, Project Prom will be holding one more open house on April 9 where any student from the Montreal area can browse the racks and get help from volunteers. Chosen clothes and accessories are completely free and theirs to keep, and all that’s asked is the donation of a non-perishable item, which is donated to On Rock Community Services and Food Bank.

Project Prom is still in need of more donations, including new or gently-used, youthful-looking dresses, suits, dress shirts, shoes, and accessories. Items can be dropped off at one of the locations listed on Project Prom’s website, or contact jguy03@lbpearson.ca for more information.

Students wishing to attend the open house on April 9 can email jguy03@lbpearson.ca to make an appointment. Students from any school are welcome, and all personal info is kept confidential.

Project Prom is located in Macdonald High School at 17 Maple Ave., Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, J7V 4T7.