No girl should miss their prom. With that thought in mind, dozens of women turned out to Clear Skin/ salon in West Hempstead Wednesday night to become prom fairy godmothers to girls who can't afford to pay for the pricey occassion.
The owners, staff and clients of the beauty salon, located on Hempstead Turnpike, came bearing gorgeous gowns, some worn by their daughters at their proms, and others that were brand-new or had been hanging in their own closets for years with the tags still on.
While enjoying an elegant cocktail party inside the whimsically-decorated business, the women "ooo"-ed and "aww"-ed over the dresses and accessories each person brought to donate and recalled memories of their own high school proms.
As one of many local drop-off locations for the Long Island Volunteer Center's 18th annual Prom Boutique, the salon will be accepting donations from now until April. In the spring, hundreds of teens from across Long Island who have been referred by their schools and other programs will enjoy a personal shopping experience at boutiques set up by LIVC's volunteers. There, they'll pick out their gowns, shoes, jewelry and other accessories that have been donated by individuals, salons and dress shops.
"Our whole philosophy is they stayed in school, they're going to graduate, they earned this...providing them with a dress so they can go celebrate that accomplishment is our way as a community of saying 'Well done. You have made your mark," says Dana O'Neill, executive director of the Long Island Volunteer Center. O'Neill has been organizing the event for the past 18 years and has seen it grow from 35 girls to roughly 1,300 thanks to the generosity of individuals, groups and businesses.
This year, four local teens will also get their hair and make-up done on prom day courtesy of Clear Skin/Color Me Beautiful.
"We really are fairy godmothers," says salon owner Lola Intagliata. "I didn't get to go to my prom because it was a struggle, so now this gives me a chance to help someone else."
Watch the video report above to learn more and visit longislandvolunteercenter.org.