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Students donate used prom dresses for the Princess Project

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Amanda Flores and Evelyn Bobbitt decorate princess crowns in support of the Princess Project with materials provided by the Campus Activities Board. Through the project, prom and party dresses can be donated to high school students who cannot afford new ones. / photo by Candice Salazar

Sara Montgomery
Staff Writer

The Campus Activities Board held a three-day fundraiser to give University of La Verne students the opportunity to give back to those who are less fortunate.

CAB asked students to donate “gently used” formal dresses, prom dresses and jewelry that they no longer needed to the Princess Project organization.

“Girls dream about the prom and I think everyone should be able to experience it, with their dream dress and everything,” said CAB philanthropy chairwoman Nicole Wood.

To publicize the event, a Facebook event page was created to spread the word to students about details of the fundraiser.

Wood hosted the event and believes this organization deserves the La Verne community’s support.

Many women who have had the prom experience in high school can still remember the excitement they felt when preparing for it years ago.

By simply donating their used dresses, they can be a part of a young girl’s prom experience.

“I think it’s a great way to give back, in a simple way that won’t even affect you,” CAB Comedy Chairwoman Ally Schultz said.

“Tons of girls have dresses that they only planned to wear once.”

“I think every girl deserves to feel pretty for prom and they shouldn’t let their inability to pay for a dress and accessories hold them back from going,” Wood said.

After the first two days of the event, more than 10 dresses were collected and will soon be sent to the Princess Project.

The Princess Project is a non-profit organization that promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them, due to financial difficulties.

Since 2002 the Princess Project has helped more than 15,000 high school students in need.

Founders Laney Whitcanack and Kristi Smith Knutson responded to an e-mail from a high school student in need and contacted friends and family for donations.

That e-mail sparked the creation of the donation based non-profit organization.

The organization serves high schools in the San Francisco, Silicon Valley and San Diego areas and gives young girls the opportunity to have the prom they always dreamed of.

With newsletters and websites, girls are able to fill out dress request forms and set up appointments to try on dresses or reserve a spot at one of the dress giveaway events.

The organization also accepts monetary donations for those who want to donate more than a dress.

The Princess Project sells merchandise on its website and all purchase proceeds go directly to making the annual event a success.

The website also has links to show visitors how portions of the purchases at specific national retailers later get donated to the Princess Project.

Besides accepting donations, Princess Project also accepts volunteers to help out during the event, or participate in the planning and fundraising for the dress giveaway events.

These dress giveaway events take a lot of work because the volunteers need to sort the donations by type and size to ease the process for the girls who will be receiving them.

CAB members fully endorse the idea of mixing fundraisers and philanthropies into the normal entertainment events they put on for students.

“From a concert chairman point of view, I love the idea of fundraising for philanthropies and would love to incorporate it more into my concerts. It would help to get students who both want to have fun and give back to the community,” CAB Concert Chairman Michael Lindsey said.

Although CAB’s fundraiser is over, anyone who is interested in helping out with this year’s event can find information on the Princess Project’s website,

Sara Montgomery can be reached at

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