PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A returning event is aiming to help Peoria teen girls have the prom of their dreams.
It Takes a Village – Peoria is helping to cut costs for families to make a magical day.
Hundreds of dresses and accessories were on display Saturday afternoon; each item donated to ensure a dream prom experience.
“As we are at our fifth annual prom dress giveaway, we spent all year-round collecting for this moment to see girls walk in with their mouths drop and their families are so surprised and happy,” Dr. Bernice Gordon-Young, It Takes a Village’s Founder and CEO, said.
Gordon-Young said the nonprofit’s annual prom giveaway is one of her greatest joys.
Gordon-Young said the event was created for girls like 18-year-old Nizhoni Lawson, who said while combing through the many gowns, she found the perfect prom dress that just spoke to her.
“This was definitely the dress for me,” Lawson said “I’m also super indecisive, so I tried on a whole bunch of dresses after this one, but I always came back to it.”
These dresses ranged in price, and some even have tags on them that are upwards of $700 and $900.
Gordon-Young said she didn’t want cost to be a barrier for girls experiencing prom.
“We just want to make sure that regardless of how much the dress costs that these young ladies will find dresses that they absolutely love, they are leaving out of here with their hearts filled,” Gordon-Young said.
Nizhoni called the prom dress giveaway a blessing and encouraged everyone to support the cause.
“Prom dresses are super expensive and being able to come in and pick a dress and take it home for free,” Lawson said. “They have free alterations too, that was insane — I appreciate it a lot.”