By Catherine Twing, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Prom can be one of the biggest moments in a high school girl’s life. The Marlborough Junior Woman’s Club (MJWC) makes that moment possible for hundreds of girls each year.
For nearly a decade, the group has hosted the Metrowest Princess Boutique, which provides prom dresses, shoes, accessories and makeup to over 200 local girls who for one reason or another, might not otherwise have this opportunity.
In 2009, club members began volunteering at the event, then known as the Fairy Godmother Project held at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. The MJWC took over the planning in 2011, gave the event a new name and moved it to Marlborough High School where it continues to be held.
This year’s event took place March 16, welcoming 220 girls who were nominated by their schools. They came from Marlborough, Hudson and as far away as Leominster, Fitchburg and Worcester.
The girls were matched with volunteers who led them through the collection of 2,500 dresses, then to choose shoes, accessories and a free makeup kit.
“Girls in high school have lots of challenges just being teenagers. There’s a pressure to go to prom and look beautiful. Being able to make that moment magical makes a difference,” said new member Kyla LeConti.
As she helped steam over 90 dresses for the event, she had the chance to see the girls come out in their favorite choices.
“They were so happy and proud to have found that special dress,” she said.
As soon as the event is over, planning for next year is already underway.
The event relies on donations and volunteers to make the day a success. The MJWC raises around $1,500 each year to cover logistical costs and accepts donations in the form of dresses, accessories, shoes and makeup.
LeConti explained that the event’s main coordinators Elizabeth Young and Theresa Frias have creative ways of finding beautiful garments and shoes. Some shoe donations come from T.J. Maxx, and many dresses are donations from dress shops or local residents. Antoine Cleaners helps clean the donated dresses to be ready for the girls to pick out. Donors can also purchase items off an Amazon wish list which includes new accessories and makeup.
This is the largest event of the year for the Marlborough Junior Women’s Club, which currently has 67 members.
“It just gets better and better every year. A lot of the members love this event probably the most of all the things we do in town,” LeConti added. “It takes a village to put on such a big thing.”