By Gord Bowes, News staff
Dozens of students who might not otherwise enjoy their graduation or prom night will be having a good time this June, thanks to some west Mountain parents.
They will have a dress or suit to wear, get their hair done and have a corsage or boutonniere to wear at their graduation or prom.
Dubbed Project Prom, it’s the brainchild of Christine Laur, parent of a Grade 2 student at Chedoke elementary school.
Laur says she was looking to make room in her closet earlier this year and saw she had some dresses she could part with.
She thought back to her old hometown of Hespeler, Ont., where there was a church program in place to help families who couldn’t afford prom attire, so she went to a Chedoke parent council meeting to see if anyone knew of high school students who needed assistance.
There were. And she also found out there was a need in her own school.
Project Prom grew from there and will help students at Chedoke and Sir Allan MacNab.
“The reality is that some kids never get to their prom,” says Laur, because they don’t have suitable clothing.
Chedoke principal Priscilla Mochrie said Grade 8 graduations have become a very big event because the students’ grade school years are usually the longest amount of time they spend in one place and its a chance to celebrate with friends they have grown up with. She guesses 25 to 30 kids at the school need a hand.
“There is definitely that hidden need in the community, says Mochrie. “I think there is a hidden need in every community now.”
She says there are often faculty or community members who help behind the scenes to ensure students in need have something nice to wear so they can attend the event, but the expanded effort of the parents at her school is very helpful.
“It’s huge, taking this on,” says Mochrie.
Laur is looking for dresses, dress pants, shirts, ties, shoes, accessories and everything else a person needs on their memorable night.
Project Prom donations have come mostly through word of mouth so far, but she is getting help from other moms, including Erin Accadia, Stephanie MacDonald, Sarah Putnam and Kara Robbison, in spreading the word and collecting donations.
“There are great moms in my school who are very passionate about this,” says Laur.
She’s also getting help from business that she has approached. FasciNATURE at 704 Upper James St. is donating beauty services and Cole’s Florist in Stoney Creek is also helping out.
“It’s turned out to be amazing,” says Laur.
Donations are being accepted until April 30 at FasciNATURE and the Terryberry library at 100 Mohawk Rd. West. The salon is giving a discount on services to anyone who drops off a donation.
“At the end of the month, I’m hoping I’ll have enough supplies that I’ll be able to get all these students ready for their grad or their prom,” says Laur.