Dress donation program ensures all students can go to prom

By: Mary Beth Almond | C&G Newspapers | Published February 12, 2018

OAKLAND COUNTY - Rochester Outreach and Charity for Kids, known as ROCKit, is asking local women to give new life to their special dresses for the organization's annual ROCK the Prom dress giveaway.

For a third consecutive year, ROCKit is collecting donations of recently worn, floor-length prom dresses, as well as shoes and accessories, for its event - which gives high school teens free used prom dresses and accessories.

"I think every high school teen - if they get invited or want to go - should get to go to their prom," said Kathy Campbell, who serves on the ROCKit board. "The dresses are very expensive - a lot of times you might think that you can get a dress for $100, but the reality is they are really more like $200-$300, and by the time you add jewelry and a shawl and a purse, it can be up to $400. So having the opportunity to limit that expense makes it possible for some kids to go."

ROCKit, a program of the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, is collecting gently used or new items - including long dresses, shoes and accessories - for the event through Feb. 28. Items can be dropped off during business hours at Kidz1st Pediatrics, 2370 Walton Blvd. in Rochester Hills; The Funky Frog Children's Resale Boutique in downtown Rochester; or Classic Lanes bowling alley, 2145 Avon Industrial Drive in Rochester Hills. Gowns in sizes 0-6 and 14-20 are specifically needed this year, according to Campbell.

The gowns will be professionally cleaned by Lapels Dry Cleaning, an environmentally friendly dry cleaning company at the corner of Rochester and Auburn roads.

High school teens from all over who show a student ID are invited to attend ROCK the Prom events to try on and pick out one free dress noon-3 p.m. March 24 and noon-2 p.m. March 25 at the Auburn Hills Community Center, 1827 N. Squirrel Road in Auburn Hills. Campbell said that any teen, regardless of income, can take home a free prom dress this year.

"Last year, 90 percent of the students were from northern Oakland County, but we did have kids learn about it who were from Canton and Chelsea and Bay City, and we don't turn anybody away," Campbell explained. "If a girl decides that choosing a gently used gown is something that they want to do to save on expenses for prom, we don't (turn them away)."

The dress distribution event will include a gown and accessory salon for guests to review a collection of over 400 formal dresses, and a fitting room with staff to assist guests.

Last year, the event served 58 teens.

"Last year, every girl that took home a dress was able to choose two accessories, and they all did. … They left with a complete outfit," Campbell said. "For the 58 girls that we clothed, it made a difference."

Read the full article here.

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