Get the dress of your dreams this prom season, even if you can't afford it

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Get the dress of your dreams this prom season, even if you can't afford it

Get the dress of your dreams this prom season, even if you can't afford it

The rustling of chiffon and satin, the shimmer from jewel-encrusted fabric and racks upon racks of bright colours — it usually adds up to a big pricetag when it comes to prom dresses.

But one group in St. John's wants to make sure girls who might not be able to afford those costs are still able to make their prom dreams come true.

"So many colours and sizes, it's a dream," said Elaine Balsom, project coordinator at the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland about its program, Prom Dreams.

The group's outlet is a treasure trove of gently-used donations.

Those dresses are then made available to girls who can't necessarily afford a brand-new, off-the-rack dress — and Balsom said it makes all the difference.

"That's what all of SPAN is about — it's about making differences in the lives of these single-parent families and showing them that something like going to your prom is possible," she told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

"The transformation is, you can see the difference in the smile on their face, the happiness is total. It's remarkable. And it's very humbling, too, and heartwarming. So we really have a lot of magical moments in this room."

The variety of colours and styles is vast, and some of the dresses still have price tags on them.

"We do have people bringing dresses that they never even wore because they found another dress," said Balsom.

"And we've had a couple of companies in the St. John's area collect dresses as well and some of those have been brand new."

Balsom said she's been able to experience truly magical moments as girls who never thought they'd go to prom realize they found the dress they always wanted to wear.

And that, she said, is what the program is all about.

"When you try on that dress and it feels right, it's almost like, even on Say Yes to the Dress, but you feel — there's that moment, you know, 'This is the dress.'"