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Kelly Smith, Published November 23 2009

Giving a prom to remember: Group collects dresses to donate to area teens

Plenty of people are helping teens feel like princesses at prom this school year.

While the much-anticipated annual high school ritual is five months away for most local high schools, 27-year-old Elizabeth Waller already has prom on her mind.

Prom, circa 1998, that is.

“I loved my dress; I loved my prom,” the Fargo North High School grad said. “Every girl should be able to go.”

So, she and dozens of other local young women are becoming fairy godmothers of sorts, donating used dresses to make sure the unstable economy doesn’t ruin teens’ chances of attending the dance.

“Parents can’t afford $200, $300 dresses,” she said.

So, when she’s not working shifts as a nurse at Fargo’s Innovis Health or chaperoning her three young daughters to Hannah Montana concerts, she’s out collecting dresses for teens she’s never met.

Her goal: collect 500.

Across town, Alexa Mazaheri is following in her alumna’s footsteps.

The Fargo North High School senior was one of three students last year who started “Project Prom,” which collected 100 dresses for area high school girls.

The students in the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or FCA, are doing the project again this year. This time, they’ve already collected 100 dresses.

Mazaheri’s motivation, like Waller’s, is simple.

“You want to feel like a princess – that’s what you get going to prom,” she said. “(And) I think it’s a really good experience … everybody should have.”

“Project Prom” will distribute dresses to any area high school junior or

senior girl the following days at Fargo North High School:

  • Feb. 18: 6 to 9 p.m.

  • Feb. 20: noon to 3 p.m.

  • Feb. 21: 2 to 5 p.m.

    The $5 the group is asking for helps support a fund North High has to buy clothes and school supplies for other students in need.

    To donate, drop dresses off at Fargo North High School.

    Meanwhile, Waller plans to distribute her dresses, which are also available to any area students (with a school ID), from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 13 at Fargo South High School. To donate, drop dresses off at any area M.J. Capelli salon.

    Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515