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Collin County Girls Get Help With Pricey Prom Dresses

By Marianne Martinez, CBS 11 News
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A woman looks at dresses in a store. (credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman looks at dresses in a store. (credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

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ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s every girl’s dream to look like a princess at prom. “For me, it means to get all dressed up and get hair and makeup and nails done and have fun with all your friends,” said Heather Gallant, a senior at Allen High School.

But Heather wasn’t sure that she would be able to attend to the big night. The 18-year-old works part-time, and is saving her money for college. “I have a single mom and I mostly have to pay for things myself. So, it’s very hard to just go out and buy a $400 dress,” she said.

However, on Thursday night, hundreds of Collin County girls are invited to select donated prom dresses for free at the Allen Community Outreach’s Resale Shop. “Our primary goal is to make sure every girl in Allen, Fairview and Lucas gets a dress,” said Del Herrod, who organized the event. “So, if they’re identified by our case workers or their school counselors, they’re going to get their dress and accessories for free.”

Herrod started the shopping event three years ago, helping just a handful of girls. This year, about 300 teens are invited to attend the shopping event. “There’s this idea that we don’t have a great need in this area,” Herrod said. “People are hurting everywhere.”

The ACO partnered with Neiman Marcus Last Call in Allen. Customers donated gently used evening gowns in exchange for a discount at the store. And one of Last Call’s stylists will be on hand to help the girls coordinate their looks for prom.

The dresses are also available for purchase at a deep discount. Allen High School senior Allison Nguyen will save hundreds of dollars by going to the resale shop instead of the mall. “I know it’s for a good cause. And if it’s for $5 or $10, it’s a good deal,” she said.

Some girls, like Heather, will be chosen to get their hair and makeup done as well. So, for one night, they will feel like princesses. “That is going to make my night amazing, and I’m going to be looking awesome, and it’s not going to be expensive,” Heather said.

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