Brilliant Community Initiative Creating Cinderella Moments

A new Facebook group is aiming to assist families who haven’t been able to send their kids to their senior high school formal.

Nearly every teenager looks forward to their high school senior formal. It’s a time to celebrate how far they’ve come. How close they are to finishing what feels like a lifetime of study. And their coming of age as adults. It’s a chance for the guys to don a suit, and the girls to wear a beautiful dress, and for them to party the night away with their friends while being Kings and Queens for a night.

Perhaps it’s the rise of social media, or celebrity culture. Perhaps it’s just each generation trying to out-do the last, but whatever the reason, formals have increasingly blown out in cost. The average family spends around $1000, to deliver their son or daughter their moment in the sun. It’s not uncommon to see 18 year old girls wearing wedding dresses the rest of us can only hope to get married in. And it’s just making formals completely unattainable for some families.

But that was before someone with some common sense came to the party.

A Facebook group has just been created called the Murray Bridge Informal Formal Group 2017, which is setting up a brilliant system, whereby people can get involved to help families facing formals to put their hard earned cash to better use.

It’s also allowing those families who weren’t able to send their kids to the formal, to create ‘Cinderella’ moments for their teens, as no child should miss out on going to their formal.

In only 2 days, the group has grown to over 800 members, all enthusiastic to help.

With the Murray Bridge senior formal in less than 7 weeks away, on March 31st, the Facebook group is co-ordinating efforts to collect donations of formal gowns and suits – which will be put into a ‘formalwear library’ of sorts. They are hoping it will grow beyond this one school event, to a point where they can run a free formalwear library to service schools all around the district. There are already pledges of over 150 dresses. 

There have also been offers to loan or hire more expensive gowns, which will be coordinated through a local business called Mystical Flair, which is located in the Woolworths Green shopping centre in Murray Bridge.

The offers to help out haven’t stopped there.

There are already people from as far as Spain sending dresses, shoes, makeup and more!

The group is also looking at providing transport options and will host fittings, alterations and a huge makeover day with hair & makeup. They also have local photography businesses that have offered their services and two businesses in Mannum are acting as drop off points.

There’s also an Adelaide florist pledging corsages for 20 couples and lots of people offering handmade jewellery.

There are make-up artists coming down from Adelaide to help, and people are putting together boxes of hair products, perfume, makeup, even toothbrushes & bandaids for those formal shoe blisters.

If you can help, head over to the Facebook page and get involved. Donations to cover the price of formal tickets for families in need are appreciated, while there’s also a need for more hair & make-up supplies & people with the skills to us use it to create the princes & princesses. Of course formalwear is also high on the agenda, because we all know how picky teenagers are when picking an outfit for a formal. Having options is crucial!

This group is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when a community works together, and it would be amazing to see the concept spread.

We wish all the seniors going to the Murray Bridge formal a sensational (& memorable) night!

Congrats to the brains behind this idea – Aura Mckay (student) and her mother Jessica Clark, Sarah Shirley and her daughter Em (another student), Lesley lloyd, Annatjie Heydenrych (mother of ex student, and Jasmine Fabian (ex student). For more info call Jessica Clark on 0488153491.

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