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Thursday, 04 August 2011 14:38 Taghira Herrar
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For many teens around the country, the senior prom is a highly anticipated rite of passage. It is a time for teens to celebrate and cherish the last days of high school with their peers before going on their separate ways into the real world. In this time of economic uncertainty, some teens are unable to participate in this tradition as the expense of prom tickets, limos, dresses, tuxedos, and other prom necessities mount onto an already tight budget. Over 30 Mount Vernon high school teens were relieved of some of this expense as they participated in an evening of glamour, giveaways and inspiration.



On May 20 Mount Vernon High School hosted “A Prom Giveaway” to provide over 300 prom dresses to its high school seniors. Mt. Vernon High School alum, State Farm agent Tony Bragg sponsored the event in partnership with Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and GoSmallBiz.com. The event was the brainchild of Tony Bragg and colleague Laura Francis who also grew up in Mount Vernon. The teens were assisted in picking out a variety of dress styles before finally choosing their dresses for the big day. The soon to be grads expressed joy and excitement as they searched for the “it” dress for prom, “I’m excited and I appreciate this event. Some people can’t afford dresses or wouldn’t know what to wear to prom. The dresses provided here are really exceptional” said Vannessa Higgins after finding her dress. Some parents attended to help their daughters find gowns; one parent Nadine Staggers also expressed her appreciation, “This is really beautiful what they’re doing here for the seniors. I wish I had this when I was a senior!”



Vendors such as Avon and Diva Designs by Monica were also in attendance offering skin care, make-up and hair styling tips and demonstrations in preparation for the prom. In addition to picking out free dresses, the teens participated in raffles for the chance to win free dress shoes, handbags, and jewelry to complete their prom ensembles. Teens were given handouts with prom safety tips as well as a list of vendors which would provide discounts to tailoring and grooming services for the students for prom night. Monetary donations were be used to provide discounts to the teens for tuxedo rentals.



The evening not only prepared the teens for prom night, but provided them with food for thought and inspirational words for the future.  Speakers such as Hilary Shepherd of Serv Pro of Scarsdale/Mt. Vernon, Mayor Clinton Young and Carolyn Jones on behalf of Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson encouraged the teens by promoting further education and told them to  never give up. Despite economic hardships felt by all participating businesses, the sponsors and vendors pitched in for the greater good and showed support for some of Mount Vernon’s up and coming community members.



“We wanted to give back to a community that had given so much to us,” stated Bragg. Tony also encouraged the students to follow through on serving their community, asking them to pay it forward by returning the dresses after prom so that others may be able to use them next year. Tony Bragg plans on bringing this event back to Mount Vernon High School next year.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2011 14:50

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