Once Upon A Prom returns for its 11th year

The yearly event provides girls with prom dresses free of charge in exchange for community...
The yearly event provides girls with prom dresses free of charge in exchange for community service(WEAU)
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 5:17 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Prom season is only a few months away. For some, the price of party attire is out of reach. That’s where a group of volunteers comes in to help young ladies say yes to the prom dress.

“It’s one of those events that’s sort of a milestone in a young lady’s life and so we want every girl to have that opportunity to attend and have those memories,” Once Upon A Prom co-founder Jennifer Rooney said.

Back for its 11th year, Once Upon A Prom is making it possible for girls to find a prom dress free of charge.

“We’ve been able to help hundreds of girls to attend prom who might not otherwise be able to or may go with a dress they weren’t very happy with, but today we have thousands of dresses for them to choose from,” Rooney said.

Rooney says the three-day event provides other prom-day necessities as well.

“Generally they’re able to get a pair of shoes, some jewelry,” Rooney said, “So they leave all decked out, ready to go and the monetary cost to them was zero.”

To be able to take part in Once Upon A Prom, only six hours of community service need to be completed.

Stephanie Bauer is one of the organizers. She says people and companies, like Macy’s, donate dresses.

“We got hundreds of brand-new prom dresses from them and Williams Diamonds works with us every year to donate jewelry and it’s so fun,” Bauer said. “It’s fun for them, it’s fun for us and I think it’s great that community gets involved.”

Bauer says it’s exciting to see the girls pick out their outfits.

“A lot of them it’s their first time in heels so watching them try to walk in heels and get a dress that was perfect for them,” Bauer said. “They’re excited, we’re excited.”

Rooney says there’s a reason why Once Upon A Prom does what it does.

“I remember very fondly one girl in particular who put on her dress and you could see her whole face light up and she started twirling around and she said I feel just like a princess,” Rooney said.

And it’s being able to be a part of the magic of an unforgettable experience.

Once Upon A Prom is scheduled to take place from March 31sr through April 2nd at Banbury Place in Eau Claire.

Appointments for the first day are full, but there are still slots available for the other two days.

There are also volunteer opportunities available as well.

To learn more about Once Upon A Prom, click here.

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