'A Cinderella Affair' provides free prom dresses for teen girls

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Sending your kids to prom isn't cheap. Between the flowers and the dinner and the limo, prom expenses can sure add up.

And for girls, it can cost even more, because they have the extra expense of buying a dress. But one group is making sure that any girl can get the prom dress of her dreams, at no cost.

"A Cinderella Affair" hosts a free prom dress giveaway for juniors and seniors statewide. The event is organized by the East Valley Women's League.

Last year, nearly 1,300 dresses were given away to students from throughout the Valley and state. And some 8,000 dresses have been handed out since the program began.

Here's how it works. Juniors and seniors with valid IDs participating in the Cinderella Affair will be provided with a numbered ticket upon their arrival at the showroom.

Once that number is called, girls will be escorted to the dress room to choose five dresses to try on. Volunteers provide guidance and assistance. Once a final selection has been made, volunteers will escort the students to a separate room to select shoes and accessories.

Volunteer seamstresses will even be on hand to make minor alterations and repairs. And if needed, a dry-cleaning voucher may be provided. Once the final selection is made, there are no exchanges.

The free prom-dress giveaway will be held at the East Valley Women's League's new permanent location, 411 N. McKemy in Chandler.

The Cinderella Affair boutique will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, March 28, April 4, April 11 and April 18.

"Prom is so special for so many young ladies and we want to do all we can to ensure that it is even more memorable by making sure that every girl who wants a prom dress has one," said East Valley Women's League President Kathy Harris. "And, the truth is, this event is as much fun for us as it is for them."

The organization has been collecting new and gently used dresses for several months, and has been supported by donations of dresses and accessories from Uptown Bridal & Boutique, Strut Bridal Salon and Dillards. Other major sponsors are Captured Moments by Rita & Company, Arbonne International and Tempe Needlewielders.

For more information about the Cinderella Affair and how to donate dresses and for volunteer opportunities, visit www.cinderellaaffair.org.

About the East Valley Women's League: Founded by sisters Tara Stainton and Tracy Worischeck in 2001, the 501(c) 3 nonprofit East Valley Women's League (EVWL) has provided financial support for more than 25 charities including the Ronald McDonald House, Chemo Companions, Homebound Women's Project, Children's Cancer Network, SEEDS for Autism and the Pregnancy Care Center of Chandler. EVWL also has raised and donated nearly $500,000 to nonprofit organizations and in scholarships to Arizona State University, Maricopa Community Colleges and the Tempe Union High School District. EVWL also has delivered almost 6,000 backpacks with school supplies to middle and high school students in the East Valley. For more information, visit www.evwl.org.

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