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Free prom dresses, shoes & jewelry

Three-day giveaway to take place at Shea's Performing Arts Center April 16-18
Posted: 5:38 PM, Apr 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-11 18:18:17-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Preparations are underway for the 14th annual "Gowns for Prom" presented by Colvin Cleaners and the Allstate Foundation.

This year, there are 4,000 donated prom dresses ready for free distribution along with prom shoes and jewelry.

The effort is meant to help young ladies from struggling families who cannot afford the high cost of going to the prom.

All the dresses are cleaned and repaired by Colvin Cleaners which also provides alterations during the distributiuon.

Sixty schools are taking part in the program.

"That one gown that a person takes out of the closet and donates can be life changing for a young lady," said Paul Billoni, president of Colvin Cleaners.

Shea's Performing Arts Center is a partner with the program which uses the historic theater for the giveaway, fittings and alterations.

The free dresses, shoes and jewelry will be distributed on Tuesday April 16 thorough Thursday April 18th from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m at Shea's.

Many volunteers help the program, but this year, there is a shortage of people who can sew. Volunteers are asked to call Colvin Cleaners at (716) 873-2952.

In the attached story, 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly talks with a local artisan who donates hundreds of self-made jewelry pieces so they can be given away to girls in need.

Why?

Because she could not afford to buy a prom dress as a teenager and had to wear one made out of thrift store draperies by her mother and grandmother.

It is her way of giving back so every girl can have a magical memory even if they don't have much money.