On that day, girls can bring in a dress to trade or just come and browse through the selection of hundreds of dresses. Girls can also put their name into a raffle for a chance to win hair-styling, tanning sessions and other prom-related services donated from local businesses.
“It feels really good to see a girl find the dress,” said Denise Gornto, an English teacher at North Miami High School who helps the students with the outreach. “I think that’s true no matter who you are. It’s that ‘awwww’ moment where they find the dress that makes them feel like a princess. It’s a very warm feeling.”
Monnot said helping provide that “awwww” moment to her peers was what initially convinced her to lead the Fairy Godmother Project this year.
“I fell in love with it last year when I decided to donate my dress,” she said. “It was hard to see it go, but the feeling of knowing you helped somebody made it worth it.”
During Boutique Day last year, Monnot said she helped dozens of girls find a dress who thought they would never be able to afford prom. Some of them were single, high school mothers. Others just didn’t have the money. Some came as far away as Lafayette looking for a dress.
Monnot said they don’t turn anyone away or ask any questions. Girls just have to have some way to verify they’re in high school.
“There’s no shame in coming,” she said. “Everyone is there to help you, and we’re not judging anyone.”
English teacher Gornto said it’s refreshing to see high school students from all across Miami County come together and reach out to their peers.
“It’s always really great to see the kids step up and do something for somebody else,” she said. “These girls continue to make it more — to make it bigger and better every year. They’re all hardworkers, and they just want to make other people happy.”