FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Hundreds of girls got the opportunity to pick out a dress for free Saturday and it’s thanks to the Fort Wayne Medical Society Alliance.
The event is called Cinderella Dress Day and it’s been going on for more than 20 years.
It has grown significantly during that time. The event started out at the Boys and Girls Clubs, but it outgrew it as its popularity increased over the years.
Now Cinderella Dress Day is held at the Grand Wayne Center and has served more than 4,000 girls since it started. Last year, more than 500 girls lined up to pick out the dress of their dreams.
The event aimed to provide gowns, jewelry, shoes, and other accessories for girls from families who can’t afford them otherwise. But event organizers also use Cinderella Dress Day to educate young women.
Before the girls can begin looking at their dress options, they first listen to lessons about personal health, finance, and safety.
“We provide a health fair which is education on relevant health and social topics that are going on in today’s world such as drinking and driving, texting and driving and the opioid crisis,” said Tania Boyd, one of the event organizers.
The program accepts dress and accessory donations all year leading up the event. You can drop them off at any Peerless Cleaners and they will get the dress where it needs to go.
Organizers also said many of the dresses come back each year, which helps sustain the program.
“We gave away over 900 dresses last year and we got all 900 back,” said Nasreen Ahmed, Fort Wayne Medical Society Alliance President.
Organizers joined NewsChannel 15’s Michael Kuhn on First News Saturday to talk about the event. Click the video to watch the interview.