Johnstown Cinderella Project helps girls go to prom in style

Prom season is right around the corner, and one local organization is making sure girls don't have to worry about paying for their dresses and accessories. (WJAC)

JOHNSTOWN -- Prom season is right around the corner.

And one local organization is making sure girls don't have to worry about paying for their dresses and accessories.

The Cinderella Project hosted the 11th annual Try On Days at the YWCA in Johnstown.

Everything is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, but there was no shortage of dresses to go around.

Lined up and ready to shop, high schoolers from across the region waited at the YWCA in Johnstown to find the perfect prom dress.

Laken Burkhardt attends Pitt Johnstown, but showed up with her sister Lindsey to find a dress, like she did the last two years.

"Dresses are going to be upwards of $100. And a lot of the people around here don't have the money to do that,” Burkhardt said. “So having the opportunity with the Cinderella Project, to get dresses for free, I think it's a wonderful thing for this town."

Since 2007, the Cinderella Project has helped outfit more than a thousand girls for their proms and formals.

"Everybody who has a blue shirt on is a fairy godmother type of volunteer,” project coordinator Megan Livingston said. “So once you have five dresses that you like, then one of them will show you to a dressing room."

Livingston said there's no cost or proof of income required. They just ask for a form of ID to prove you are of high school age.

"We see a couple hundred girls between the two weekends. And we have well over 1,000 dresses on our racks this year,” Livingston said. “This is actually the most dresses that we have ever had in the 11 years of the project."

And parents are very thankful for those who donated.

"It's a great community project. We're very thankful that there are people that donate dresses for girls that couldn't afford a $500 dress at a retail shop," parent Nicole White said.

"We do the whole experience. They can go through the racks. If they find a dress they want, they can look for jewelry, shoes and accessories,” Livingston said. “So it's really kind of the whole nine yards for them for the day."

High school senior Madison Gulish found a dress that she loves.

"And they had all the accessories and everything,” Gulish said. So it was just really nice to know that there's an organization like this who really wants to help people."

But more than just a free dress, Livingston says it gives girls confidence.

"It's more than about dresses. You know it's more than the sequins and the sparkle,” Livingston said. “It'sreally for girls. It's about self-esteem."

If you still need a prom dress, the Cinderella Project will be hosting another try-on day next Saturday,March 25, from 12-3 p.m.

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