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Decatur Prom Dress Program helps high school students not stress over the dress

Posted at 11:53 PM, Feb 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-22 23:53:54-05

INDIANAPOLIS — We’re just a few months away from prom season in Central Indiana.

A program in Decatur Township is helping high school students afford to have a night they’ll never forget.

“You look forward to, you grow into, and you sort of have to reach a special level to go, since you have to be a junior or senior to go," Decatur Central High School Grad Hailey Hacker said.

When Hacker was a senior, she quickly realized not everyone can afford to have this quintessential right of passage.

“We started collecting dresses," she said.

Hacker helped found the Decatur Prom Dress Program, which helps students who might not be able to afford to go to prom, do just that.

Nine years ago, the program started out with about 10 dresses and helped one person.

This year, organizers estimate there’s 400 to 500 dresses and expect to help 40 to 50 people.

One of those people is DCHS Senior Khloi Bobb, who says money is tight right now.

“They were pretty expensive and not a lot of choices," Bobb said.

Her hunt for a vintage-looking blue dress came to an end Wednesday.

“I’ve seen this on my Pinterest, just like this. I’m super excited to see it," she said.

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The average cost of prom, between the outfit, accessories, shoes, corsage, hair and makeup can range between $300 and $1,700.

Through the program, students receive a dress, an accessory and a ticket for $50 — the cost of admission.

“Most of the dresses here are donated by the community. We have had a couple of formal companies send a few here and there," Program sponsor Kathy Everman said.

Everman has big plans to expand in the future.

“Eventually, I want to be able to help the boys go to prom too, by finding tuxes and suits at garage sales and things. Once we get all of that stuff established, I wanna have enough money set aside so that if there’s a girl that can’t even afford the price of a prom ticket, that they can go for free. They get their dress and prom ticket all on us," she said.

Decatur Central High School prom is May 20.

If your child still needs to get a dress, they can do so Saturday, March 11 and Saturday, April 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.