NEW PORT RICHEY — It's six weeks to prom season, a nervous time for Pasco high-school students who worry about being able to afford that dream gown or snazzy tuxedo.
Not to worry. For the fourth year, the Cinderella Project is providing brand new and gently used prom dresses and accessories free of charge to girls who are in need.
And for the first time, dudes won't be left out. This year the Prince Charming Project is trying to ensure that no boy misses the prom because he doesn't have enough money for the right clothes.
Young men who qualify for the program will receive tickets redeemable for $75 off a tuxedo at Sacino's Formal Wear. Of that discount, $25 comes from the Prince Charming Project, $25 from the Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and $25 from Sacino's Formal Wear. If a student wants an upgrade, he can work at Sacino's in exchange for a store credit — not a bad deal.
Pasco prom season runs from April 26 through May 17.
To participate, students should go to their school guidance counselor, who will assist with the program.
The Prince Charming Project received a $500 donation from Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, and money from several other donors who attended a recent Pasco Education Foundation fundraiser.
Money is limited, and certificates are given first-come, first-served.
The Cinderella Project needs prom-style dresses and accessories (shoes, purses, costume jewelry) in excellent condition and contemporary, appropriate styles. Donations can be dropped off at any Pasco County high school.
In west Pasco, that would be Hudson, Gulf, Mitchell, River Ridge, Wiregrass and Ridgewood high schools. In east Pasco, it's Pasco, Zephyrhills, Wesley Chapel, Sun Lake and Land O'Lakes high schools.
Cash donations can go to either the Cinderella or Prince Charming projects, as the donor requests. Money is used to purchase brand-new dresses when sizes are not available in the donated inventory or is put toward tux rentals.