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Community Support Creates Fairytale Moments

Girls browse the dress selection at the 2017 
Cinderella Dress Day.

Photo credit: FWMSA

Girls browse the dress selection at the 2017 
Cinderella Dress Day.
Written by: Communicator StaffMarch 21, 2018

Written By: Nicole Winans

2018 marks the 20th year for Cinderella Dress Day.

“This event allows every girl a chance to go to her high school prom in a dress that they might not have been able to afford,” according to Peerless Cleaners’ website.

The Fort Wayne Medical Society partners with Peerless Cleaners to create an unforgettable experience for girls in grades 7-12.

The event will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. March 24  at the Grand Wayne Center.

The day will include a health fair, dresses, accessories and prom prizes, all free of charge.

“The goal is to get these young women healthy lifestyle and wellness information that will last a lifetime,” Nasreen Ahmed, the event chair, said. “Secondarily, we wish to take the burden of prom expenses off of families in need.”

CDD 2017-68IPFW junior Elaine Guthier described her prom night as “unforgettable” and “a night you will always remember.”

“I was fortunate enough to get the perfect dress for me for my night, and I felt so beautiful. Everyone deserves the chance to feel that even if they can’t afford a big, fancy dress,” Guthier said.

Since its beginnings, over 3000 girls have received a dress from Cinderella Dress Day, while being supplied with knowledge on finance, healthy eating, exercise and avoidance of risky  lifestyle behaviors.

Over 2000 dresses will be available this year, ranging from size 0-28.

Girls are encouraged but not required to re-donate their dresses after prom, and there are no qualifications to receive a dress.

“If a girl is willing to wait hours in line, attend the health fair and seems to be of the right age, we are happy to give them a dress,” Ahmed said.

550 young ladies were in attendance last year, which is a 40% increase from 2016.

As the event grows, the need for volunteers and sponsors has grown as well with many IPFW students showing interest and a willingness to become involved.

“I think it’s important to be able to have that fun night out, feel pretty and make memories, and if I can help a girl do that, of course I would,” IPFW senior Ale Bohnke, who is now engaged to her former prom date, said.

Currently FWMSA is in great need of a marketing team with social media and graphic design skills.

Volunteers can sign up at signupgenius.com/go/70a0e
45a5ac28a
57-20181.

Dress sorters and shoppers are also needed on a year-round basis.

“I would definitely donate a dress,” said IPFW junior Sydney Jeffers. “Everyone deserves to be a princess, even just for one night.”

Dress donations can be dropped off at any Peerless Cleaners location. More than 900 dresses were donated within the past year.

“I would encourage anyone to get involved,” Ahmed said. “The outpouring of community support is a remarkable representation of the power of gifting to benefit the wellbeing of your neighbor.”

FWMSA is a philanthropic organization made up of spouses and families of physicians and works to serve the needs of the community.

Earlier in March, FWMSA held Doctor’s Day, a hands-on health fair for children.

The organization hosts multiple events of their own each year, including a spring fling dinner social, spring luncheon, medical school barbeque, fall membership social, medical and dental mixer, and holiday luncheon and bazaar.

For more information about FWMSA or their events, visit alliancefw.org.

For information about Cinderella Dress Day, visit the event’s Facebook page.