In this tough economy with gas prices skyrocketing as well as other things like groceries, it is extremely tough for parents to afford the non-essentials, much less spend hundreds of dollars on buying the things that their kids need to go to their prom.
That is exactly why East Meadow resident and Adelphi University senior Andrew “Mookie” Alderman decided to volunteer his time to assist the Long Island Roller Rebels roller derby team in assisting the Town Of Brookhaven in collecting the things to make the young ladies' dreams come true.
Mookie found out about this worthy cause and collection from his dad Bill, who works with the Roller Rebels. He has been sending emails, texts and distributing fliers in hopes of getting donations of gently used dressed and gowns (which must be dry-cleaned prior to being donated for health reasons), gently used dress shoes and heels, gently used costume jewelry and accessories, unopened makeup and gently used dress handbags and fragrances as well.
So far, Mookie and Bill have collected a bunch of stuff to assist the Roller Rebels in their goal, which is to help stock the Town of Brookhaven Youth Center in their Cinderella Prom Participation Drive.
Any young women experiencing financial difficulty are offered brand new prom gown and accessories for their special night. Needy young women pick out their dresses at the youth bureau's dress boutique area at Town Hall, which has dressing rooms. These gowns are theirs to keep, although some donate them back. And the process is kept 100 percent confidential.
"I like to help others out," said Mookie, who is also involved with extreme volunteerism in many areas, but felt that this was important to add to his huge list. "It's a big night and the whole process can get expensive. I remember mine like it was yesterday, not four years ago, and how much money this one night costs. I remember hearing of some kids that did not attend because of the costs associated with it and it broke my heart."
The Town Board believes the prom program is gaining popularity through word of mouth, because of support of businesses and teams like the Roller Rebels and also because of the current economy. Mookie is collecting prom items from all over Nassau County and they will be brought to the Roller Rebels' home doubleheader on April 14 at Safe Skate America in Old Bethpage. The program, which started in 1997, has helped nearly 3,000 local teens since it began and about 320 people annually.
If you would like to help and donate an item to the Prom Dress Drive and be so young woman’s fairy godmother, call Mookie or his dad at 516-505-9005 or bring your donation Safe Skate America on April 14.
Have you participated in the Prom Dress Drive before? Tell us in the comments.