Junior and senior high school students are eligible to choose a beautiful prom dress and participate in a bonding experience at the 13th annual “Cinderella Affair” Free Prom Dress Boutique hosted by the East Valley Women’s League.
The event will take place on Saturday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pyle Adult Recreation Center, 655 E. Southern Ave. in Tempe, for specifically junior and senior high school students. The League will be collecting prom dresses at 34 E. 7th St. in Tempe Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The League has provided high school students with more than 13,000 dresses to Arizona high schools over the 13 years the event has been available.
“It is not need-based, they will be able to receive a prom dress if they come and show an ID,” said Tracy Worischeck, a founding member.
At the event, students will be able to choose elegant jewelry, accessories and shoes to match their prom dresses completely free of charge. This is made possible through the donation drop-off boxes around the community that allow people to donate their prom dresses.
“We get dresses from girls that have already been worn, sometimes we get new ones, sometimes we get ones from bridal shops,” Worischeck said.
The League is a nonprofit organization that uses its money to operate the event. The League rents its own dressing rooms and the center where the event will take place.
“The East Valley Women’s League pays for everything that it costs to run the ‘Cinderella Affair,’” Worischeck said.
This year, the “Cinderella Affair” will occur only one day, March 29, instead of taking place over two days.
“In the past, we’ve done it for a few hours Friday night and all day Saturday, but this year we decided to have the event on one day,” Worischeck said.
There are typically about 4,000 dresses to choose from, along with jewelry, accessories and shoes. Students come in and choose approximately five or six dresses to try on before they choose their favorite dress, according to Tara Stainton, another founding member.
“We love that day because we get to say how beautiful they look,” Worischeck said, “our goal for the whole day is to make girls feel special, and they do.”
East Valley Women’s League pays for and operates the event, but they also have volunteers from the community, Worischeck said.
In order for the event to run smoothly, the League has a group of volunteers, called the Needle Wielders, to assist students with their easy-to-fix alterations on the spot. These include: fixing hems and repairing dress straps.
“These women have been here every year, for all 13 years,” Worischeck said. “It’s pretty much the same ladies each year, and they are darling.”
The event means a lot to high school students who will attend prom, volunteers and the community. It is a collaborative effort that sees a substantial turnout of students each year, Stainton said.
Additional information about the event and how to make a donation can be found at www.evwl.org.
• Angela Crusco is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is interning this semester for the AFN.