September 29, 2020

BY HEATHER KENNERY

The lights were shining and the runway was clearly marked by surrounding rows of people waiting excitingly for the music to start and the first model to take the floor. This may seem like a scene from fashion week but three Conestoga event planning students took on the challenge of hosting a fundraiser fashion show at The Museum  in downtown Kitchener on March 25.

PromSense was conceptualized by post-graduate students, Ashley Freiburger, Prakrita Bakshi and Susie Wiles; they teamed up with KW Princess Project to help bring more awareness to the local organization.

According to an April 2012 MSN money article, the average prom costs between $600 and $1,000. With other expenses such as transportation, hair, makeup and matching accessories, some families cannot afford to help their teens with the steep costs of attending a formal dance.

The Princess Project is a multinational organization that helps young women who cannot afford to buy a new dress experience their high school prom and semi-formals, by giving them a donated, lightly used gown.

KW Princess Project accepts donated dresses, accessories, shoes and cash. Kelly Steiss, project co-ordinator of KW Princess Project, said she realized the importance of this organization to the community when she was shopping for a formal dress with her daughter.

“It struck me that we were spending a bit of money on a dress that she was likely going to wear once or twice,” Steiss said. “I also knew that there are families living in our community where the cost of a dress is prohibitive to their attendance and participation in prom and grad. I knew that there must be a better way and so I started doing some research and found this project.”

Conestoga student and event planner of PromSense, Ashley Freiburger, said they contacted multiple fashion boutiques so they were able to showcase new prom fashions for young men and women to the over 200 people in attendance. People were also able to donate dresses at the show and ticket sale proceeds went to the KW Princess Project, which is still accepting dresses.

You can donate your apparel at multiple locations, including 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.