DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Many teens missed out on prom last year as the pandemic surged. This spring, some schools are giving prom another chance, with new precautions such as temperature checks, mask requirements and social distancing.
Yet, families may not be able to afford the prices for formal dresses – ranging from hundreds of dollars into the thousands. So, Cinderella’s Closet is open again in Dandridge, with fairy godmothers ready to help.
Director Rona Farley says she remembers her family appreciating this kind of help years ago during prom season. Now, she wants to continue helping other families needing to outfit a teen for this special occasion.
“To get really puffy, you start out underneath and you take it by the layers,” said Farley as she demonstrates how to shape the built-in crinoline around the skirt of a red, formal dress for teen Kamilla Vargas.
Vargas and her mother, Karen Hoffman, drove from Cocke County for a private fitting appointment. Hoffman approved of her daughter’s final selection of a bright red formal dress with a fitted bodice and full, ruffled skirt for dancing at the high school prom. “I would never be able to do this for her. What they’re doing for the community and what they’re doing for these girls is absolutely wonderful.”
“So the theme this year is actually going to be masqueraded. So it’s going to be like a mask, we have to wear our mask,” said Vargas while modeling her red dress. “And I’m hoping, that’s another thing, I kind of want to get a bedazzled mask.”
Assisting Farley with Cinderella’s Closet is East Tennessee State University student Celesta Lagares, who is completing an internship by helping build the group’s social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. “Through COVID, times have been tough. So, with our community outreach, these dresses are free. So they’re gonna help a lot of people in the community.”
Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.