Junior League of Tallahassee Hosts Annual Operation Prom Dress

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"I'm actually getting a free prom dress and free accessories and free shoes," said Breana Jerningan.

Breana Jernigan joined more than 150 other local teens whose dream of going to prom will come true, thanks to Operation Prom Dress.

"Not a lot of kids can afford spending hundreds of dollars on prom dresses and things like that," said Jernigan.

The annual event allows students to shop from a selection of more than 1300 dresses which have been donated by others in the community ...and the best part is, it won't cost them a dime.

"I was wondering how she was going to be able to go, I knew we could get the ticket but as far as a dress and things, I was really stressing it," said Michelle Fulcher.

Parents like Michelle Fulcher worried they would have to crush their daughter's dream of dancing the night away at prom because it was a luxury they couldn't afford. But thanks to the Junior League of Tallahassee, these young women will sparkle and shine.

"It's my favorite color, it's purple, and it's strapless and it's long and covers my legs, and it looks really good on me," Elizabeth Fulcher.

Now these girls can feel like Cinderella on their prom night, and get a fairy tale ending to high school.

If you'd like to donate your prom dress, shoes or other accessories to Operation Prom Dress, you can drop items off year-round at The Junior League of Tallahassee office or a drop box location near you.
Junior League of Tallahassee Press Release:

TALLAHASSEE, FL - More than 150 area teens were given the chance to sparkle at their Prom thanks to The Junior League of Tallahassee (JLT), which hosted Operation Prom Dress, one of its signature community projects, on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 at the GFWC Woman’s Club in Los Robles.

Operation Prom Dress (OPD) allowed young women in the Tallahassee community and surrounding areas to shop from over 1,377 dresses in a boutique-like atmosphere for a prom dress and accessories for FREE. The young ladies of Gretchen Everhart, a school for exceptional students, attended a private shopping preview on Friday.

“Nothing compares to the excitement my students have during this event,” said Fran Simmons Preston, Teacher and OPD Co-chair. “They have so much fun shopping and trying on the dresses, preparing for one of the biggest events in their life, their prom.”

Saturday’s shopping event was open to all public high school students in the Big Bend area who may not be able to afford a prom dress. There were 79 Junior League of Tallahassee members that gave more than 800 hours of volunteer service to produce the event.

“Operation Prom Dress helps create a memory of a lifetime for the attendees, while building self-confidence,” said Betsy Couch, APR, President of the Junior League of Tallahassee. “Proceeds from our fundraisers, like Whale of a Sale and Jingle Jubilee, support important projects like Operation Prom Dress.”

OPD began during the 2001-2002 school year as an event for students of
Gretchen Everhart. The event has since grown into a regional project serving hundreds of local teens. This year, JLT teamed up with the GFWC Woman’s Club of Tallahassee for the event. The Club donated its facility, dress racks, tables, chairs, linens, refreshments and decorations as well as volunteer time from members to help assist with the OPD event.

“The Woman’s Club has been volunteering service in Tallahassee for more than 100 years,” said Charlene Bevis Reese, Past President of the GFWC Woman’s Club of Tallahassee. “The historic clubhouse was built in 1927 and we share this legacy with our community through many projects, helping make our area a better place for all.”

Other in kind donations for the event were generously provided by: Narcissus; Karmanos Printing & Graphics; Bella Donna Shoes; A Country Dollar; Color Me Beautiful; Sephora; Aveda Institute of Tallahassee; Chelsea’s Salon; Haute Headz; Bloom Room and Costco.

Operation Prom Dress would not be a success without its sponsors and
donations from the community. Dress, shoe and accessory donations from the public were accepted year round. Donation boxes were placed in the following local businesses throughout the community: Cole Couture; Karmanos Printing & Graphics; Royal Nails; Women’s World; Narcissus Mix; Narcissus; Tallahassee Democrat; Healthy Solutions Weight Loss; Forest Meadows; Girl Scout Council Office; North Florida Financial; FSAE, Styles of Elegance; Leparulo Properties; and the Guardian Ad Litem Office.

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