Drive brings in used prom dresses

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The Apparel Marketing and Design Alliance has partnered with the Chi Omega sorority to collect used prom dresses and accessories for the “Cinderella Project,” an event where local high school girls can shop for prom. The event will be Saturday, March 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the city auditorium in City Hall.

Matt Kritis, a graduate adviser, said he started the project as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri. He did it for two years there and after coming to K-State, he and Joy Kozar, assistant professor, decided to do the project here. Kritis was in charge of getting undergraduates to get on board to plan the project.

“The whole idea of recycling prom dresses is part of our mission,” Kritis said.

Chi-Omega president Tara Allen said Chi-Omega decided to co-sponser the “Cinderella Project” with AMDA because they had many girls involved in the organization.

“We thought it was a great way to give back to the Manhattan community,” Allen said. “We all have so many dresses, shoes and accessories that we never use anymore from high school dances, so why not donate them to a worthy cause?”

Kritis said it wasn’t difficult to collect the prom dresses and accessories and they have collected almost 200 dresses already. Kritis said Chi-Omega was a great partner in collecting from different sororities while also donating items themselves.

The Chi-Omega members donated items to the “Cinderella Project,” Allen said. “Also, members of Chi Omega went around to all other sororities on campus and asked them to donate.”

Besides getting items from sororities, Kritis said they posted signs and posters and talked to places in the community about donating. He said they also worked with Fairy Godmothers, a service organization in the community. Fairy Godmothers is a group of older women who want to help out other women in the community. They have also been in contact with the Manhattan High School so they can help advertise.

On the shopping day, there will be volunteers to help girls pick out their size, help try on dresses and help pick out accessories. Kritis said they also received donations from businesses, so there will be prom-related door prizes such as salon gift certificates or free corsages as well.

Allen said she hopes Chi Omega can be a part of the “Cinderella Project” for many years to come.

“I hope that the outcome of this project benefits all of the local Manhattan girls who are looking for a prom dress,” Allen said.

Kritis said it is really nice to get the community together.

“It’s been a good program for us to go out and reach to other people and to show the community that the campus cares about them,” Kritis said.

Allen said beyond the goal of recycling prom dresses, helping girls in the community is a great benefit.

“I think every girl deserves to look and feel her best at prom and if the ‘Cinderella Project’ can help a girl do so, then our goal has been accomplished,” Allen said.

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