Local students open prom dress closet to collect dresses for teens in need 

CORTLAND, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It may not feel like spring just yet here in Central New York. But believe it or not, it is, which means prom season is just around the corner. It’s an exciting time for students, but also a pricey one.

However, two local students are hoping to change that.

Senior prom is still a few years away for Liz Scanlon, but that’s not stopping the Cortland High School freshman from helping upperclassmen.

“We started the CHS Prom Closet to let girls have their prom dress without having to pay ridiculous fees, and so they can just feel beautiful. And we just want to help everyone,” said Scanlon

With help from her friend and classmate, Gabbi Hooko, Scanlon has been collecting both new and gently-used prom dresses since the beginning of the year.

“So far it’s been really fun and we get to make fun posters, and we have like 60 dresses so far, which is really good,” said Hooko, a sophomore at Cortland High School.

“Boutiques have donated to us, and we’ve had staff and friends donate to us as well,” said Scanlon.

From sparkle to simple, there are all sorts of dresses senior students can choose from without having to spend a cent.

“It feels really good to help people and help take some of the financial strains off people because I know senior year is expensive and help people feel good about themselves,” said Hooko.

Scanlon gives credit to her mom, who she says inspired her and Hooko.

“I came up with the idea because my mom in past years, like really long ago, has done a prom closet for the same reason,” said Scanlon.

That reason is to help people.

“I just really, really like to help people. I like to see other people smile, and I want to help things be easier for other people,” said Scanlon.

Hoping others will help spread that kindness by donating a dress or two!

If you’re interested in donating a dress or more, you have until mid-April to do so! A donation box can be found at Cortland High School in the foyer.

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