Young women across America pack malls, boutiques and department stores each spring in search of the perfect prom or special occasion dress, but many can't afford to in Huntington again this year, according to town officials.
Economic constraints have caused "a great many families" not have the money to buy that special dress, according to a town press release.
So, for the fifth year in a row, the Tri-County Youth Association, Family Service League and the town has teamed up to collect new and gently used prom dresses and accessories from residents and local businesses to be given away for free.
"We are very, very excited this year because we have revamped the whole event to make it a longer time period that we do it," said TriCYA Director Debbie Rimler.
Last year, free gowns were given out for 10 days. The program has been extended in 2012 to accomodate more people and more free items.
Free dresses are available from now until prom night to any girl in the Town of Huntington who claims to need one, according to Rimler. Shoes and accessories are also made available at no cost.
According to Rimler, about 30 businesses and a three-page list of donors have been contacted to lend support.
“I wish to thank all of the residents and store owners for their generous donations of new and gently used dresses and accessories," said Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson in a release.
Nikki's Dressing Room, which specializes in evening gowns and formal wear, said they donate dresses to several causes, like the one in Huntington, to help out girls in need.
"It's a way of giving back to the community," said store owner Pat Kuriga.
Prom dresses at Nikki's range from $99 to $600, according to Kuriga.
"Hopefully this will help to ease the burden on families as they prepare for their child’s prom or spring event,” said Cuthbertson.
Private appointments are needed to view the donated collection and all appointments are confidential, according to the town. To book an appointment, call Debbie Rimler at 673-0614.
No tuxedos are available to guys in need through the girls only program, according to Rimler.
Donations are being accepted at the following locations:
- , 100 Main St.
- , 790 Park Ave.
- , 164 Main St.
- REACH Community Youth Agency, 525 Half Hollow Rd., Dix Hills
- Tri-Community and Youth Agency, 809 New York Ave.
- Youth Directions and Alternatives, 7 Dianne Ct. East Northport
In other town news:
- Supervisor Frank Petrone, who underwent back surgery in February, is expected to attend the next Town Board meeting March 13.