The junior/senior prom: One of the most time-honored traditions of high school where young women spend hours getting in full glamor hair and makeup to accentuate their elegant gowns and young men don handsome tuxedos to escort their dates.
But prom is also one of the most expensive traditions of high school and would not be possible for some without the Glass Slipper. Now in its sixth year, the Glass Slipper prom event allows young women the opportunity to get a free prom dress, shoes, jewelry and even some free beauty services or a meal for two.
The Glass Slipper was the project of Alexis Lisenbee-Light and Katy Cobb while the two were sophomores in high school. The girls saw the dashed hopes of girls who would not be able to attend prom for financial reasons and consulted with Peggi Lisenbee-Wright, Alexis’ mother, who works at Combined Community Services, on how they could help.
The following prom season, the girls launched a campaign that garnered donations of no longer needed prom dresses. Then, working with counselors of Warsaw Community, Wawasee and Tippecanoe Valley high schools, they learned of the girls who would not be able to attend prom because of financial limitations, and extended them an invitation to receive a free dress.
As the event has continued through the years — now under the reigns of Alexis’ sister, Lacey Lisenbee, and Ashlyn Vitoux — it has also grown to include prom accessories, free hair styling and prom night dinners. Last year, monetary donations even afforded some young men free tuxedo rentals.
This year, the campaign to accept donated prom dresses, shoes and jewelry is now underway. The girls will also be getting hold of local restaurants that will be willing to offer one couple a free meal on prom night. Also, tax deductible monetary donations are being accepted that will help more young men be able to attend prom as well. The girls’ goal for this year’s Glass Slipper event is to raise $1,000 for tuxedo and shoe rentals for the men.
Last year, 87 girls were served with a prom dress. This year, the Glass Slipper event hopes to assist even more area young women make prom a most memorable event. “This has been abundantly successful for dresses, shoes and jewelry,” said Lacey Lisenbee, who noted this year’s prom styles seem to be mermaid style gowns, one-shoulder dresses and, of course, long glimmering gowns.
The girls are hoping to add more stylists who would be willing to do free hairstyling on the day of area proms, maybe even some makeup artists and someone to assist with dress alterations. Girls who sign up for the Glass Slipper with their high school guidance counselors or call CCS directly will receive special invitations to attend the fitting and dress selection event on April 19. The deadline to sign up is Wednesday, April 9.
The Glass Slipper tradition has ties to CCS, as does the next predecessor, Cailin Clay, who is a sophomore at Warsaw Community High School and will take over the project next year. “It’s our hope that this will just keep going and there will always be someone in our CCS family to hand it off to to keep it going,” said Lacey.
Already, Cailin Clay is thinking of what she can do to maintain and even improve on the project for next year. “I’m thinking I want to do something for the underclassmen,” she explained, noting the popular Snowball semi formal dance may also be out of reach for some households.
Anyone interested in donating dresses, shoes or any other accessories, hairstyling and/or makeup services, dinners for couples or even make financial contributions to support the project, may contact Peggi Lisenbee-Wright at CCS by calling 574-269-6019. Donations are tax deductible.