Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

March 22, 2013

Area teens will get prom makeover Saturday at Cinderella’s Closet event

Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — As Saturday's “Cin-derella's Closet” event draws nearer, people are getting more and more excited, said The Clothes Closet & More executive director Mickey Gear.

“It is going so well, beyond our expectations” she said of the event hosted at the 314 S. Main St. ministry in Jacksonville.

“Of course, April's input has a lot to do with how much it's growing this year.”

Local resident April Wright began an initiative earlier in the year called Project Prom, which will give a handful of young women from Jacksonville High School a Cinderella-like experience from pampering to dressing for this year's prom.

Wright missed her own senior prom because of health issues – a brain tumor diagnosed her freshman year, then the eventual discovery of additional tumors in her thyroid and parathyroid glands, caused by a rare genetic disorder called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia.

Project Prom was her way of “giving back” to young women who, for whatever reason, couldn't go to their own proms. “I figured it'd be a good way to start,” said the Jacksonville High School 2001 graduate said in an earlier interview with the Jacksonville Daily Pro-gress.

Wright will be the guest of honor at Saturday's “Cinderella's Closet” event, which is from noon to 2 p.m.

“She's so excited,” Gear said. “It's something we've done for several years, but this year is special because of April.”

Last year, 42 youths took part in Cinderella's Closet.

This year, approximately 100 dresses have been donated to this year's project, and for the first time, tuxedos also have been donated for 10 young men.

However, items such as jewelry, shoes, hosiery and tuxedos are still needed, she said.

Gear said the formal wear will be available to high school students up until the prom itself, but suggested that participants plan ahead to give themselves time to get their outfits cleaned and pressed.

Several local dry cleaners are have donated vouchers for their services.

“The community has been pretty supportive,” Gear said.

As part of this year's Cinderella's Closet project, coordinators will be raising funds for at least one scholarship to be awarded to a participant who is graduating this year.

Applications will be available at Satur-day's event, and have a May 1 entry deadline.

Contact Mickey Gear at 903-586-0204 for more information about Cinderella's Closet.