ECU’s Fairytale Boutique makes prom dreams a reality
Pitt County high school student Carlinna Shotwell looks through prom dresses during the second annual Fairytale Boutique organized by ECU's Volunteer and Service-Learning Center.
(Mar. 16, 2009)
The prom dreams of 28 girls attending area high schools were fulfilled during the second Fairytale Boutique held Feb. 27 and 28 through East Carolina University’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center.
The center established the Fairytale Boutique in 2008 to help young women in Pitt County attend their high school’s prom regardless of their financial circumstances. Last year’s boutique served 30 girls.
This year’s boutique also provided girls who plan to attend the Special Populations Prom an opportunity to find a dress.
In addition to gowns, shoes, accessories and jewelry were also donated, according to Jessica Gagne Cloutier, ECU’s service-learning coordinator.
With their evaluation forms, participants could add their thoughts about their “shopping” experience. Here are two of the comments, Cloutier received:
• "My helper was amazing. I really appreciated her help and suggestions. I'm very thankful for an opportunity to receive a free dress. Thank you."
• "The experience was a great success. I had the opportunity to find a beautiful dress that I liked and the people that helped were wonderful and very kind and helpful. I was very calm and relaxed with them.... I am very grateful and appreciate this."
Cloutier said this year’s event seemed to run a little smoother than last year’s first one.
“We had more student volunteers to help pick out dresses and zip up dresses,” she said. “Because we had the details nailed down, everyone came in and was helped and had that smile and sparkle in their eye. It was very gratifying for us, the ECU student volunteers and the girls who came in with their moms or grandmas.
“During that 45 minutes that they are in picking out their dresses, it’s instant gratification for us because in the volunteer world we don’t always see the result that quickly,” Cloutier said.
To donate dresses for next year’s Fairytale Boutique, contact Cloutier at 252-328-1554.