Prom dress giveaway helps local teens

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Mary Ann Baker, founder of My Girlfriend's Closet, an organization that donates prom dresses every prom season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mary Ann Baker, founder of My Girlfriend's Closet, an organization that donates prom dresses every prom season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Candace McClelland, a senior who found her prom dress at My Girlfriend's Closet. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Candace McClelland, a senior who found her prom dress at My Girlfriend's Closet. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Mary Ann Baker, founder of My Girlfriend's Closet, an organization that donates prom dresses every prom season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mary Ann Baker, founder of My Girlfriend's Closet, an organization that donates prom dresses every prom season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Prom season is in full gear at high schools across the valley. For many parents and their kids, the much-anticipated event can become a financial burden.

That is why Mary Ann Baker decided to have a prom dress and tuxedo giveaway. She started "My Girlfriend's Closet" in 2010.

"We started out with just a few racks, and since then it has grown, and grown and grown," Baker said.

This year, hundreds of high school juniors and seniors will get not only their dresses and tuxedos through her donation efforts, they will also get shoes, accessories, earrings, necklaces, hats and scarves.

This year, Michael Pollack,a valley philanthropist and retail business owner has donated the space at 6750 W. Olive for the giveaway to take place.

"It brings tears to my eyes, when I hear the stories from the girls about what this means to them," Baker said.

"We have no funds, this event doesn't make any money, everything is given."

The dresses in many cases, are brand new. "This isn't a hand-me-down, instead it's a hand up," Baker said. 

That was the case for Candace McClelland. Her yellow dress is a perfect fit and a perfect color for her prom's theme. Her prom is tonight.

"I'm really excited because the theme is Beauty and the Beast. Having this really makes me feel better about myself, it's gonna be really fun," McClelland said.

McClelland is graduating high school this year so this is her last prom on the books. Every girl who comes through the doors at the Girlfriend's Closet giveaway is greeted by a volunteer who helps the girl or boy sweep through the more than 25 racks of elegant wear.  

In Candace's case, Dominique Ladomato is the volunteer who helped her find her yellow dress for a Belle from Beauty and the Beast impression. 

"It's so nice to see these girls, getting to see all these dresses, and getting to feel like a princess and special, it's really nice.," Ladomato said.

Next Saturday, April 22nd is the last Girlfriend's Closet giveaway.  You can find more information here: www.mygirlfriendscloset.co

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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