By Angela Norris
Prom season is springing up and young ladies are getting a glimmer in their eyes. They are searching for their dream prom dress for one of the most anticipated nights of their year.
Yet sometimes, families find it hard to provide that dress for their teen. Kelley Staton is a teen and adult services librarian with the Johnson County Public Library in Franklin. She is also the founder of Project Prom and continues her mission to help teens in need this year. Staton started Project Prom seven years ago when she looked at all the formal dresses in her closet and decided she wanted to give back to the community in a way no one had before.
She started Project Prom to help any teen in need of finding that perfect dress to make their night unforgettable. Teens use service for various reasons. Some are budget minded and do not want to burden their parents with an expensive dress. Others like the idea of reusing dresses and will even donate their old ones and receive a new gently used one for themselves.
“I am always looking for ways to serve the community,” Staton said.
Hartlee Chadwell, the 2018 Johnson County Fair queen, found her dream dress with Project Prom. She was in search for that perfect dress for the fair pageant when she discovered JCPL Project Prom on Facebook. While scrolling through the pictures, she was immediately drawn to a green dress and fell in love with it. Realizing the picture was a year old, she knew her chances were slim, but she still had hope. She went to the Franklin branch and saw the green dress right away.
Chadwell likes the idea of reusing the dresses and is proud that her dress came from Project Prom. “Project Prom is a valuable library program because it gives young women in the community a way to find a formal dress, shoes and even jewelry, without having to spend an arm and a leg on prom,” she said.
Staton receives donations from bridal and prom stores and people in the community. Studio Movie Grill College Park in northwest Indianapolis gives a free movie ticket to any person who donates a formal dress to Project Prom. She is also going to start helping teen boys though a giveaway for a tuxedo through Brick Street Boutique in Franklin. In addition, she helps teens with accessories and shoes.
Donations are accepted year-round for Project Prom. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to donate. You can also visit their Facebook page: Project Prom Johnson County.