Elena Cadenaz has well over 100 dresses of every shape, size, color and fabric packed into her basement in Peru.
But the 18-year-old Peru High School senior isn’t a clothing hoarder or fashion aficionado. She’s just a girl who wants to make sure her fellow female classmates have the best prom of their lives.
For the last three years, senior girls from all three Miami County schools have scoured the state for used prom dresses and other formal wear to give away to girls who can’t afford a dress of their own for prom.
It’s all part of the Fairy Godmother Project of Miami County, and it’s been a big hit. In the past two years, more than 120 girls from all over north central Indiana have received a free dress who otherwise wouldn’t have had one.
“I think this is a real cool project,” said Jessica Monnot, a senior at North Miami who is leading up the outreach this year. “I know how expensive prom dresses are, but I think every girl deserves that one day where they feel like a princess. Even if they can’t afford it, they should still be able to have that experience.”
The project was originally created three years ago by Vivian Borse, a North Miami senior who came up with the idea for her senior project.
The outreach quickly caught on, and students at Peru and Maconaquah high schools jumped on board to help.
Now, senior girls at every school volunteer each year to lead up the project. They put up flyers, travel to boutiques and consignment shops across the state to drum up donations, put up photos of new dresses on Facebook and eventually help girls find their perfect prom outfit during what they call Boutique Day.