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Students help make prom possible

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

Home-schooled since the fourth grade, Rachael Robinson likely will never attend prom — but she’s helping to make it special for those who do.

Rachael secured donations of makeup, perfume and hair accessories for high school girls who qualify for the homeless program.

“I like helping out. It feels good,” she said. “This will make their prom more personal.”

And the girls will have more to look forward to than a pretty face.

Carson High School senior Sarah Shaw is spearheading a formal dress drive to outfit those in need.

“As a senior, I am really looking forward to prom,” said Sarah, 17. “I think everybody should be able to look forward to it. I wanted to do this so the less fortunate can go.”

Sarah, who is driving to Boise, Idaho, to shop over spring break, knows the importance of finding the perfect dress for prom.

“It has to do with self esteem,” she said. “Everybody should feel good about themselves. It’s such a milestone. You’re there to have fun but you can’t have fun unless you feel like you look good.”

That’s why she’s working with Sew ‘n Sew, Inc. owner Barbara Baker, who will alter the donated dresses for free.

“A lot of dresses can work,” Baker said. “We just have to add or subtract some. We can be inventive.”

Dresses that need to be cleaned before they’re donated can be taken to Mercury Cleaners, 217 S. Curry St., for free dry cleaning.

Seeing the finished product at the dance will be an added bonus to the night for Sarah.

“When I go to prom, I’ll see some of the people and know I helped them with this experience,” she said.

Sarah is using the project to fulfill her senior project, a three-part requirement for all Carson High School seniors. But she plans to continue to host the drive after graduation while attending Western Nevada Community College before applying for physical therapy school.

Kim Riggs, homeless program advocate, is pleased with the girls’ participation.

“I think it’s great that they’re even considering helping out other girls their age,” she said. “It shows their level of compassion.”

YOU CAN HELP

To donate a dress, call Kim Riggs at 283-2053 or drop them off at Sew ‘n Sew, Inc., 430 Jeanell Drive, Suite 1: 883-1020.