KC girls give dresses to Joplin prom

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It is almost prom season at Notre Dame de Sion but Annie Lobb has put her dress shopping aside for now.

"Getting that perfect dress is kind of the thing it is all about," she said. At the all-girls school, they understand what prom means to other high school girls. That is why they are one of the groups of Kansas City high schools donating hundreds of prom dresses to the girls of Joplin.

The May 2011 tornado that destroyed many of their homes and their high school has made it tough to make Prom a priority. Last month, the seniors learned a group of volunteers started in Kansas City are working to donate their entire prom. Megan Green, one of those volunteers has spent the month collecting dresses from Minnesota to Arkansas, from sororities and high schools.

Thursday she picked up more than 170 dresses donated by students in Liberty. "We started with one dress and it exploded," said LHS teacher Briday Ware.

"You're a high school girl and going to prom is one of the best nights of your life," said Junior Staci Gann. She and her sister donated three dresses.

"I donated this one," said Junior Audrie Estrida, pulling a light blue long dress from the rack. These donated dresses come with great memories. "Being able to allow girls to have that special night too was pretty good," she said.

They collected so many dresses, they barely fit into Green's car, but that is nothing compared to her house. Piles of bright colors and ruffles cover everything. More than a thousand dresses, all donated, have taken over her home. "Seeing all these dresses," she said, welling up with tears. "It is beyond my dreams and I cannot wait until Saturday."

That's when Joplin High Schoolers get to do their prom shopping for free. From dresses to shoes to accessories, even some suits for the boys. What touches Green most was watching high school girls give so freely to their peers in the midst of planning for their own proms. "Some of these dresses had to cost $200, $300 and they're just like, 'here you go!'"

Hundreds of Joplin High School students already plan to start lining up at 7:00 a. m. Saturday, two hours before the doors open, for their free prom shopping.

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