From Lion Leslie Zeigler:
For Cinderella, it was a royal ball, but for today’s high school girls, the prom is often the event of a lifetime. For both, the problem is not having a suitable dress for the event, and no money to buy one. Cinderella gave up on attending the ball because of that reason, and many young ladies today must do the same. In the fairy tale, a fairy godmother stepped into Cinderella’s life and saved the evening by providing a gorgeous gown and spectacular glass slippers so she could attend the ball and dazzle the prince. In Aberdeen Maryland, for the past four years, some modern day “fairy godmothers” known as the Aberdeen Lioness Lions Club are helping high school girls in very much the same way.
They aren’t creating the gowns with magic, but they are donating their time and talents to provide free dresses and accessories for the girls in over 30 high schools across the state. Their mission is to “Turn Dresses into Dreams” by providing an irreplaceable experience, to make sure the girls are able to attend prom.
Many families, like those in towns across the country, have been hard hit by job loss and lower incomes during the past few years. They have little money left for “extras” like prom gowns, which sell for upwards of $200 or more. In Aberdeen, a program named The Aberdeen Lioness Lions Club’s Cinderella’s Closet was created four years ago in response to the need, and it has proven to be very successful and growing each year. This wonderful group of ladies have been offering this service for the past four years , with the help of donations from families and businesses. The group collects new and gently used dresses across the state from both residents and formal gown and bridal stores. The Holiday Inn Express in Aberdeen has graciously donated their location for their “showroom.” The starry-eyed girls will be able to shop for 4 hours as the “fairy godmothers” help them choose the perfect dress for their dream evening. Total cost to the student? Nothing.
Sandy Pierce, a member of the club stated, “There’s nothing like seeing the faces of the girls trying on dresses, it is very rewarding for both the girls, the moms and the Lioness Lions club members as well.” “Many moms and grandmothers come to the give-away events with the girls. They consistently tell us how much they appreciate what we do for the girls.”
“We are hoping they will always remember this special event and do the same someday for others.” “We do many civic projects throughout the year and this is one of my favorites. I know prom is an important time for these girls and there are so many girls who can’t go to prom because they can’t afford a gown,” said Lion Leslie Zeigler. “Collecting these gowns and seeing the smiles on the moms’ faces and the girls’ faces when we give these gowns out for free…it’s just a wonderful feeling.” Zeigler also stated. “Because the Club receives donations all year, they are in search of a Free storage location for the gowns.”
The Aberdeen Lioness Lions were justifiably excited over being on WJZ TV on Monday, February 10th. This included live on the 6 am Manic Monday show and then on the 4, 5, and 6 pm news feature shows. The two links below have embedded videos with the live footage and then interviews with 3 of the Lions: