BROOKSVILLE — Shannon Slaughter remembers getting the phone call from her daughter, Kaydias. "She called me from the (school) office and she was crying,'' she said. "I couldn't tell what she was talking about for a minute."
Kaydias thought that she might have been in trouble when she was called to the Hernando High School office. But, instead, the news was wonderful: Kaydias, 18, was going to be a Cinderella.
Kaydias and Atabey Calderon of Springstead High School have been selected as this year's winners of a "Cinderella's Prom" by the Brooksville Junior Service League, which has been making prom dreams come true in Hernando County for four years.
The Cinderellas are chosen by their school guidance counselors based on academics, community service and circumstances.
The Cinderella package includes a dress, shoes and accessories from Patricia's Boutique, and the girls will have their hair and nails done by Debbie's Hair Gallery. The cost of the prom tickets is also covered, though Slaughter already earned a free ticket from the school for doing service work.
"The only thing we don't provide is the date," said Patricia Lambright, owner of the boutique.
Slaughter said that she doesn't have a date for the March 26 prom at Silverthorn Country Club but will be hanging out with her friends at the dance. Springstead High's prom is also on March 26.
Lambright said she didn't want the girls to get a used dress or something from a clearance rack. "I wanted it to be brand new and I wanted to let them choose a dress," she said. "I wanted the Cinderella to have the best and that's what we do here.''
Like many families, Shannon Slaughter said, they live paycheck to paycheck, and she was not sure how they would have gotten Kaydias to the prom had she not been selected. "As far as dresses, we probably would've been in the thrift shops," she said.
Hearing this, Lambright started to tear up. "Now it's my turn to cry," she said.