by James Coulter
Prom is right around the corner. Need a dress or suit but can’t afford one? No problem! You can get a prom outfit for free if you promise to stay away from alcohol, drugs, and other trouble on prom night.
Project Prom is offering free formal wear for high school students to wear during their prom night. All they need to do is visit their store at Lakeland Square Mall, show their student ID, pick their outfit, and sign a pledge promising that they will avoid risky behavior during the prom festivities.
For 11 years, Project Prom has been hosted by UthMpact, a non-profit coalition through InnerAct Alliance, which, according to their website, is “for teens by teens, educating and empowering teens to make healthy decisions and actions against alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.”
Project Prom was created to assist students who would otherwise be unable to attend their prom ceremonies due to lack of formal wear, as well as encourage them to avoid alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other risky behavior.
The store will be hosted inside Lakeland Square Mall on select weekends and staffed by high school volunteers from UthImpact and InnerAct. The dresses and suits are provided through donations from the local community.
“Our community is amazingly generous,” explained Angie Ellison, Executive Director of InnerAct Alliance. “We could not give away things unless people donate them. So we have thousands of dresses and suits they have donated over the years. Prom is important for kids. They want the best outfit. Those two things, the generosity of our community to give and the desire of kids to come in and receive, make it special.”
The Project Prom store will be inside Lakeland Square Mall, located at 3800 U.S. Highway 98 North in Lakeland (use the entrance to the right of Dillards). The store will be open on the following Saturdays: Mar. 4, Mar. 18, Apr. 1, and Apr. 15 from 11 AM to 4 PM.
For more information, please contact Samantha McCain at InnerAct Alliance (863) 802-0777.