Lassen Family Services and the Susanville Police Officer’s Association teamed up over the last month to help collect prom clothing for local students – gathering more than 130 dresses and more than $300 in cash donations from members of our community.
“Many of the dresses that were donated were practically brand-new and were absolutely stunning,” said Lassen High School Resource Officer Terra Avilla, one of the driving forces behind the clothing initiative.
For every 75 items donated by community members Avilla had one-inch of hair cut off by local hairstylist Shaylee Murphy.
“If one girl or one boy goes to prom because they were able to wear something that we collected then the effort is well worth it. The collection drive is worth it, the haircutting, it’s all worth it,” said Avilla.
Avilla added that local kids who want to go to prom not only have to pay for their dress, or their tux, but many of them work jobs on the weekend that they’re not going to be able to work that night, and they count on that money. Then they have to pay for dinner for their date, or for their hair, their makeup and add on top of that, the actual cost of the ticket which is $35 per person.
The goal of the two organizations is to help defray the cost as much as possible, making it so these kids can go and enjoy prom and not worry about the price.
“The seniors will have the rest of their lives to worry about the cost of things and money,” Avilla laughs, “and we want them to make sure that while they’re young and in high school they really can just enjoy this night. They will have plenty of time to worry about bills soon enough.”
If a student needs a dress or a tux in a size that hasn’t been donated yet, part of the collected cash is then used to make special orders. Money left over will go to help pay for the prom tickets.
Over at Lassen Family Service’s offices on Riverside Drive the staff went to great lengths to completely renovate their ‘Prom Closet’ so that it now resembles a high-end boutique. Shoes on one side, jewelry on another and dresses sorted by size. The folks at LFS work to make sure only high-quality clean and modern dresses are included.
“The girls feel like they’re special, experiencing that moment when they try on their dress and it’s their prom dress that they’re going to wear on this night,” says Avilla. “I would wear almost any dress that we collected because they’re all that beautiful, the girls and the guys getting them are going to be really thankful that they live in Lassen County – and that we have such a good community that went out of their way to make this happen.”