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Operation Prom Continues to Help Youth Afford Their Proms

Find out how to donate or benefit from the program that provides dresses and tuxedos to teens who need them for prom.

This is from Westchester County:

County Executive Astorino and DSS Commissioner McGuire to be honored  for their ongoing support, at Runway Fashion Show March 27 

Do you know a teenage girl who would love to go to her prom but can’t afford to buy a dress? Or a boy who can’t afford to rent a tuxedo? Let them know that Operation Prom is here to help. All they have to do is register.

This is the eighth year that Operation Prom, founded by Noel D’Allacco, has teamed up with the Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS) to eliminate financial obstacles that might prevent local teenagers from attending their proms. Thanks to the program, thousands of area teens have been able to go to their proms.

“Operation Prom has been an incredible success, thanks to Noel D’Allacco’s vision and hard work,”  said County Executive Robert P. Astorino, who along with DSS Commissioner Kevin McGuire will be honored by Operation Prom at a fund-raising event March 27. “It is a great example of government working with volunteers to help ease a need. The ability to afford a gown or tuxedo shouldn’t prevent anyone from attending the prom.”

McGuire said,  “It gives me great pleasure to be a part of helping young people in this county to be able to take part in the great American tradition of going to prom.”

The program helps teens from low-income households and those who live in shelters or group homes attend their prom at little or no cost. It has been so successful in collecting gowns that its emphasis is now on making sure those in need know about the program.

To request a free prom dress or tuxedo, students must fill out an application form. This can be obtained through school guidance counselors or from the county’s Web site at www.westchestergov.com . Both English and Spanish versions are available. To qualify for a free dress or tuxedo, the student must be passing all classes and have their guidance counselor or social worker sign their application form.

Westchester County has been helping Operation Prom in a variety of ways, including publicizing information about the program and providing storage space for the gowns and tuxedos.

“Having this donated storage space is crucial to our operation,” said D’Allacco. “Last year, we distributed 3,200 gowns in the Westchester and greater New York City area. This year we anticipate even higher demand. Not having to pay for storage will allow me to use that money to help more girls and boys attend prom.”

Astorino and McGuire will be honored for their “ongoing commitment” to Operation Prom at the organization’s first runway fashion show/fundraiser on March 27 from 6-9 p.m. at Westchester Manor in Hastings-on-Hudson. Tickets are $100 and all proceeds will benefit Operation Prom. The contestants from the recent Miss Westchester pageant will be modelling dresses that are available for girls.

The event host will be Jené Luciani,  a fashion journalist, stylist and regular correspondent and contributor to a number of national media outlets, including NBC’s TODAY, the Style Network and Martha Stewart Living Radio.

If you would like to attend the fashion show,  R.S.V.P to noeld@helpprom.org.

Operation Prom was originally established to help low-income students attend their proms by providing free dresses and tuxedo rentals. It has since expanded to also help students with scholarships and school supplies.

“Operation Prom continues to excite interest, and I think this year is the start of building new relationships throughout the county,” said D’Allacco.

D’Allacco, presently a business professor at the College of Westchester, was inspired to found the program, after working as a wedding planner and hearing many bridal attendants say they would never wear their dress again.

 

HOW TO DONATE

If you wish to donate a prom dress, use this check list to determine if your dress is prom-appropriate:

  • Prom, bridesmaid or formal gowns (short/long)
  • Trendy and fancy, not more than three years old
  • Free of damages and excessive stains
  • No long sleeves or velvet

   
Please note, dresses must appeal to a 16-18 year old. Sizes may range from 0-26+. Operation Prom also accepts tuxedos, evening bags, jewellery and shawls. No shoes please.

Drop off locations:

  • Life Cleaners:  (914) 968-1525
    300 Nepperhan Avenue, Yonkers 10701
    Mon., Tues., Thu., Fri - 7:15 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Wed. - 7:15 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    Sat. - 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Rye Ridge Cleaners:  (914) 937-4466
    265 South Ridge Street, Rye Brook 10573
    Mon. - Fri. - 7 .a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Sat. - 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Monetary donations are also needed and will be applied to costs associated with the prom. Donations can be made online by going to www.helpprom.org . Checks can be made payable to Operation Prom and mailed to P.O. Box 924, Bronxville, NY 10708. 

 

PICK OUT YOUR DRESS LOCATIONS

(Please remember to register first.)

  • Peekskill: Tuesday, April 10, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., The Department of Social Services, 750 Washington St,
  • White Plains: Wednesday, April 11, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., The College of Westchester, 325 Central Park Ave.
  • Yonkers: Thursday, April 12 or Friday, April 13,  10 a.m.- 2 p.m., The Department of Social Services, 131 Warburton Ave.
  • Wappingers Falls: Saturday, April 21 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. or Sunday, April 22 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Petit Penelope (Brookmeade Plaza) 985 Rt. 376

GET FITTED FOR A TUX LOCATIONS

(Please remember to register first.)

Anytime between April 10-13 during store hours at the following locations:

  • White Plains: Men’s Wearhouse 360 Tarrytown Road
  • Scarsdale: Men’s Wearhouse 731 Central Park Ave.
  • Poughkeepsie: Men’s Wearhouse 2001 South Road                                  


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