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Volunteers Donate Time to Make Prom Night Magical for LA Foster Care Teens. On April 8th, teenagers in the Los Angeles foster care system enjoyed the opportunity to find their perfect prom outfit at the Glamour Gowns and Suit Up Event. All dream prom needs were met thanks at the at the Los Angeles Convention Center thanks to supporting brands including Masquerade Formal Wear from DJ Bronson, Chinese Laundry, Jenette Bras and Gianni Inc. Menswear.
For over fifteen years, the Glamour Gowns and Suit Up Committee has served more than 5,000 teenage girls in the foster care system, providing them with formal gowns, shoes and accessories for their prom or other formal event -all at no cost. For the third year, young men in the foster care system were able to find new suit, shirts, ties and shoes. This year’s Glamour Gowns and Suit Up event serviced over 600 young men and women, giving them the formal attire to look and feel confident both socially, and professionally.
The Glamour Gowns and Suit Up Event is organized each year by a dedicated volunteer committee working in conjunction with CASA of Los Angeles, staffed with over 300 volunteers and made possible by donors like SHARE, INC.
Each foster youth is paired with an adult volunteer who, as their “personal shopper” for the day, helps them choose their attire. Giving suggestions when asked,bringing alternate sizes and styles to the dressing room, these volunteersencourage and collaborate with each youth to put together their uniqueensemble for their special day. A team of seamstresses and tailors volunteer for the day to help each youngperson achieve the proper fit. Hair stylists and make-up artists add their expertise with demonstrations to help these youths complete their look for their special evening. Many of the youth are deeply touched by theamount of care and attention they receive as evidenced by their thank younotes.
“This extraordinary event allows for a large number of Los Angeles foster teens to attend prom night regardless of their personal circumstances,” said Kristen DeLeo, Chair, Glamour Gowns and Suit Up 2017, “The day itself is an amazing ‘shopping spree’ that focuses the attention on our teens, who unfortunately have grown used to blending into the background. An experience like this builds their confidence and self-esteem.”
There are 30,000 children under the jurisdiction of the dependency court inLos Angeles County, including more than 18,000 who live in foster care.Financial circumstances often do not allow for “non-essential,” yet important, items like prom dresses or suits for formal dances and similar events. The Glamour Gowns and Suit Up Event seeks to create lasting, positive memories for milestone events like these in the lives of young people who have often endured and overcome difficult circumstances.