ETHS students model free prom dresses at school fashion show


Isabella Alvarenga/The Daily Northwestern

Evanston Township High School senior Olivia Wind models a Dreams Delivered dress on the runway in the school cafeteria. The Woman’s Club of Evanston created the Dreams Delivered program eight years ago to help girls save money during prom season.

Isabella Alvarenga, Reporter

Evanston Township High School students were treated to a fashion show during school hours Monday as fellow students modeled prom dresses on a catwalk in the school cafeteria.

The show was put on by the Woman’s Club of Evanston to display dresses from the organization’s Dreams Delivered program, which provides ETHS girls with free prom dresses.

Dreams Delivered, which began eight years ago, collects new or barely worn prom dresses from donation sites around Evanston. Kathy Fisher, a Dreams Delivered co-chair, said the Woman’s Club is selective in choosing which dresses to keep from donations.

“A lot of dresses I’ve seen still have the tag on them,” said Olivia Wind, an ETHS senior who participated in the fashion show this year and last year.

Men’s Wearhouse employees also came to the high school to fit the boys participating in the fashion show. The tuxes, however, were loaned only for the show. Boys at the school could enter a raffle to win a free tux.

After the fashion show ended, girls in the cafeteria were encouraged to make an appointment with the Woman’s Club to receive a Dreams Delivered prom dress. The Woman’s Club will hold boutique events from April 28-30 during which girls can pick out a dress, shoes and jewelry, all free of charge, with the help of a personal shopper. A seamstress will be present at the boutiques to alter dresses if needed. Each night, 30 to 40 Woman’s Club members volunteer at the boutique, Fisher said.

The Woman’s Club received donations from the shoe retailer DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse this year, Fisher said. In past years, the organization bought shoes from DSW for discounted prices.

The program is a valuable resource for girls at ETHS, Fisher said.

“You really see them transform,” she said. “They get individualized attention, and it helps with their self esteem.”

The program was originally started with low-income students in mind, Fisher said. However, it has always been available for all ETHS girls regardless of income level.

“We don’t check anybody’s family income level,” she said. “Everyone is saving for college, so we keep the boutique open to anyone who wants to come.”

Gabby Stieglitz, an ETHS senior, said she decided to model dresses in the show after being asked by the school’s community service office.

“It’s an amazing program and an easy way to cut down the cost for prom,” Stieglitz said. “Prom is really expensive, so getting a free dress really helps people out.”

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