September 20, 2020

BY WHITNEY SOUTH

It seems fairy godmothers do exist.

For many girls, prom is a chance to put on something glamorous and dance the night away. But for many who can’t afford the cost associated with such a milestone, even something as simple as a dress can make all the difference. That’s where the KW Princess Project comes in.

The project, which can be found in cities all over North America including Kitchener and Waterloo, is about recycling prom, grad and semi-formal dresses and getting these dresses to young women in the community who could not otherwise afford them.

Rebecca Lofsnes owns Gloss Boutique and Salon in downtown Kitchener, one of the project’s drop-off locations.

Lofsnes said her store got on board right away promoting the project to customers while offering them a 15 per cent discount on store merchandise in exchange for a gently used donation.

“Oftentimes special occasion dresses, whether they’re a bridesmaid dress or a prom dress, we wear them once and they end up in the closet,” she said. “There’s so many girls out there who can’t afford a dress and they miss out on something like prom because of it.”

Even though many people appreciate a discount incentive, Lofsnes said the majority are just happy to give.

The KW Project Princess accepts donations year-round. Dresses can be dropped off at Waterloo Sports Medicine at 65 University Ave. E., Waterloo, Gloss Boutique and Salon at 87 King St. W., Kitchener, or at The Shoe Diva at 730 Belmont Ave., Kitchener.

With over 500 dresses donated so far, Lofsnes said this year the project is expanding to include things like shoes, accessories and even cash donations.

“We’ve started trying to branch out and do something where we’re actually raising some funds,” she said. “Not only do these girls need a prom dress, but oftentimes there’s a ticket involved as well.”

In an effort to further encourage donations, the KW Princess Project will be hosting Prom Sense, a fashion show fundraiser tonight at The Museum in downtown Kitchener.

For more information on how you can donate, contact the KW Princess Project at kwprincessproject@yahoo.com.