Program to help students who can't afford prom fashions

Isabelle Kinsey, a 1993 Kingman High School graduate, will never forget her high school prom.

"The prom is the one night when a teen-age girl can be glamorous," Kinsey said.

"You get to dress up, have your hair done and go to dinner."

Prom night is a big deal to every high school senior, but some teens have to pass on the big night because their families cannot afford a formal dress, shoes or a trip to the beauty salon, said Kinsey.

To make sure that every Kingman High School girl had an opportunity to attend her senior prom last year Kinsey organized "Operation Prom Dress," to help teens who wanted to attend the prom.

"This will give all girls a chance to go," said Kinsey, who along with husband, David, have two children, 3-year-old Caroline and 15-month-old Kiersten.

Kinsey first heard about Operation Prom Dress last year.

"It was started in Washington, D.


Then a friend in Scottsdale read about it and started picking up donations to start a program in Phoenix," she said.

Kinsey rounded up 300 prom dresses for Kingman girls who did not have a dress for the prom last year.

After the prom she still had 15 to 20 dresses left, she said.

Kinsey did not intend to continue the program this year, but someone gave her 20 new dresses, Revlon sent her 200 makeup kits and she was recently approached by the Kingman High School student council.

"I have help from the student council this year.

But it will be more of a challenge because we will also try to provide tuxedos for the guys.

"There are also time restrictions.

The prom is May 6, so we only have about three weeks to get everything we need," Kinsey said.

Another change in the program includes a survey by the student council to find out exactly how many dresses and tuxedos are needed.

A tentative goal is 200 dresses and only about 20 tuxedos, because not all guys want to wear a tux," she added.

The group also plans to videotape donated dresses to let students know what is available.

"We would like the community to donate dresses to the program," Kinsey said.

"We need new dresses or dresses that have been worn once, and can't be worn again."

She said she is looking for cocktail, bridesmaid and evening dresses that are clean and in good condition.

Last year a dress shop donated 60 like-new dresses to the program.

She is also looking for beauticians willing to donate their time so that the girls can get their hair done for the special occasion.

"Considering the price of a new dress, shoes and a trip to the salon, the enchanted evening could be out of reach for some teens," she said.

Anyone interested in donating a dress, shoes, jewelry or beautician services for Operation Prom Dress 2000 should call Kinsey at 718-1951.

Any girl who needs help from Operation Prom Dress can call Kinsey at the above number.

"It is completely confidential," she said.

The prom will be held May 6, in the commons area at Kingman High School North Campus, said Pat Mickelson, assistant principal at Kingman High School North.