(03/29/2008)

Leslie Garrett, a Calhoun County High School student,
models a gown Friday evening at Glenville State
College's Alan B. Mollohan Campus and Community Center.

By Drew Moody
For the Hur Herald

High school girls from several area counties modeled gowns for Hospice's Cinderella Project Friday night.

The event gave young women the opportunity to purchase gently used formal wear for proms at "pennies on the dollar" compared to traveling to rent or buy the dresses.

Nothing sold for over $20. There were scores of gowns to choose from. More than 200 attended the festivities.

In addition, for several Gilmer and Braxton county girl scout troops it was "Girls Night Out." They were treated to having their fingernails painted, sat in on the fashion show and afterward watched the movie Cinderella.

Alicia Rose and her mother, Julia, combine
efforts as they browse for a special dress
for Alicia's sister. Alicia is in her freshman
year at GSC, and a Gilmer County High School graduate.

Hospice's Cinderella Project began after the Preston County (WV) volunteer coordinator became aware many young women didn't attend their school's annual dance celebrations because of the cost of gowns. After searching the Internet Kim Riley found a Washington, D.C. program providing low-cost gown options to young women. She patterned Hospice's Cinderella Project after the D.C. version and the rest is history.

Currently serving as Hospice's director of special events, Riley didn't stop there.

She's also the founder of the Hospice Thrift Stores.

This year Morgantown, Glenville and Elkins were selected as locations where gowns are available for purchase.

Wirt County's Kirstyn Knicely models one of the
gowns available for purchase.The formal attire
sold for $20 or less as part of the Hospice program.

According to local Hospice volunteer coordinator Julie Beckner, more than $40,000 in prom dresses and accessories have been donated for the 2008 efforts.

Friday's events are part of Glenville State College's community enrichment program. Kipp Colvin, Julie Beckner and GSC senior Joan Powers coordinated the Hospice fashion event. Girl Scout administrator, Angie Linger, coordinated that portion of the evening's events.

For those who weren't aware of the Hospice Cinderella Project or couldn't attend, the gowns will continue to be available for viewing at Glenville State College until April 4. For more information call either Kipp Colvin at 462-4114 or Julie Beckner at 304-517-8868 (cell).

NOTE: Hospice officials indicated many individuals and businesses had contributed to the success of the Cinderella Project. Two businesses cited as providing significant levels of assistance this year are Oliverio's Bridal Boutique of Bridgeport and The Formal Affair of Flatwoods.

Stephanie Stacy, left, a Calhoun County High student,
joins a small crowd browsing for bargain evening wear.


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