Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 1, 2014

Prom wishes looking to be granted

ASHLAND — Saying “yes” to the dress is not only for soon-to-be brides. Many local girls in foster care can fulfill their prom dress wishes in Boyd County this weekend.

At least, that is what Lee Ann Gollihue, co-founder of For Jamie’s Sake, hopes to do for prom-eligible girls referred to the organization’s PROMapalooza on Saturday at the Kyova Mall.

The event from noon to 4 p.m. will take girls through a transformative journey from selecting their perfect dress, to showcasing their new looks on the runway.

Gollihue said the last four years of PROMapalooza have resulted in both outward and inward changes in the girls who participate.

“Out of all of the events we do, this one is life changing for some of these girls who struggle in finding out who they are and need help building up their confidence,” she said. “It is so much more than selecting the dress.”

This year, Gollihue said a devotional will be added to the event, which will be given by Sarah Sweeney, a member of South Ashland United Methodist Church and a social work major at Morehead State University.

Gollihue said the girls will take their time selecting dresses at noon, then move to choosing accessories, including shoes, jewelry and purses, and then complete the makeover with hair and makeup styling.

After the looks are complete for each girl, the group will participate in the devotional and then grace the runway for a fashion show at the end.

All styling and dressing will take place at the old uniform store in the mall.

Gollihue emphasized the importance of the event giving girls a self-esteem boost, saying many are timid or unwilling to participate at first, but grow more comfortable as the day goes on.

She recalled one instance where two girls did not want to participate at first, but slowly dropped their guard enough to pick dresses with the rest of the group and ended up enjoying the event.

“I think we’re all like that sometimes with situations where we’re uncertain and have walls built up to guard ourselves,” she said. “It is special. You can see it from the time the girls walk in a little guarded and end up walking out with a different outlook on life.”

More prom-eligible girls are encouraged to preregister for the event. Gollihue said they are still accepting donations of formal wear.

For more information or to preregister, contact a foster service provider or call For Jamie’s Sake at (606) 327-5511.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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