The second annual Prince George Dress Dreams event starts with a drop-off day Saturday.
Organizer Mandy Paavola used to volunteer for Vancouver's Cinderella Project and is trying to emulate the event here, she said.
"People donate dresses that they'll never wear again that are still current and classic," Paavola explained. "The dresses are given to girls who cannot afford to purchase a gown of this stature - because you know, some gowns are equal to the cost of rent for the month."
Six girls were helped last year.
"Some were teen moms and one girl was pretty much homeless and couldn't even think about spending hundreds of dollars on a dress -- we can alleviate that pain," said Paavola. "I think every teenager should get to go to prom - it's a rite of passage."
This year there are already four girls nominated, which is twice as many as last year at this time. Usually, Paavola said, nominations come through teachers, school counsellors, financial aid officers, social workers, family assistance staff and other members of the community like employers of student workers or church leaders.
"Pretty much anyone, who is not related to the student, can nominate them and as long as they are graduating, they can have a dress," said Paavola.
It's an anonymous project.
"High school girls can be mean and I don't want anyone to feel bad about getting a hand-me-down dress - even if that dress has only been worn for a few hours - so it's all done confidentially," she added.
During the drop-off event from 11 am. to 1 p.m. Saturday, in the parking lot at Shhhhh, 2348 Westwood Dr., the event planner is hoping to get a variety of party dresses.
"Whether it's a bridesmaid dress, or a previous prom dress, shoes, handbags, accessories, we're grateful for all of it and I'm also looking for people to volunteer to help with minor alterations," said Paavola. "We're also hoping to give each girl a makeover and photo shoot during the big P.G. Dress Dreams Day held in March to avoid the crunch closer to prom and grad. I'm looking for hair stylists and make up artists to volunteer their time, as well. I've already got a couple of photographers lined up. We want this to be a big event for these girls. Some of them don't even have any photos of themselves so we're working on all that right now."
They haven't locked in the date yet because organizers are still looking for a location, but the priority is to get the girls who are nominated matched up with a dress for their prom.
Right now Paavola has about 200 dresses and is always looking for more.
"Our goal is to get 100 gowns and 200 pairs of shoes," said Paavola. "We've already got lots of gowns and we plan to do this forever. I have a two-year-old daughter and I plan to do it well past her prom. We want everyone to have a dress and I hope that there is never even one girl who won't go to prom simply because she can't afford a dress. That's my goal."
Check out Prince George Dress Dreams on Facebook or e-mail pgdressdre...@yahoo.ca for more information.