Free prom dresses

Gowns up for grabs: Free prom dress giveaway

The Brooklyn Paper
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These do-gooders give new meaning to the term “dress for success.”

A group of philanthropic fashionistas are giving underprivileged teenage girls a stylish incentive to graduate — in the form of sparkling prom and graduation gowns.

“It gives them something to be proud of,” said volunteer Shaniqua McClam. “We’re bringing glam to the non-profit realm.”

Dozens of fashion-loving folks — department store executives, designers, and students — donated roughly 550 secondhand-but-first-rate dresses at South Oxford Space in Fort Greene last month.

The garments ranged from classic to cutting-edge, including a gold beaded chiffon and an unused “Cinderella style” dress valued at $900.

The department store Forever Yours also gave away 300 dresses and designer Gwen Beloti will donate one as well, McClam said.

Volunteers from the group, dubbed L.A.C.E. — Learning, Achieving, Creating, Empowerment — will hand out the gowns, first-come, first-serve at a Bedford-Stuyvesant elementary school on May 5.

“We hope it gives them some incentive to graduate — to look good and feel good,” McClam said.

L.A.C.E. prom dress giveaway at CS 21 (180 Chauncey St. between Reid and Patchen avenues, Bedford-Stuyvesant), May 5 from 9 am–3 pm. Free. Register at

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 7:28 am, April 13, 2012
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