Nearly 200 ladies are going to receive free dresses, accessories and shoes through Frankfort’s Cinderella’s Closet, which will set up a one-of-a-kind boutique, complete with a team of seamstresses to make alterations. The guys will be fitted for free tuxes by Parkway Florist in Clay City.
“The kids are just – they’re just so humbled,” said Morgan County High School secretary Cathy Kemplin. “They’re overwhelmed. It’s just unbelievable.”
For prom to continue as planned on April 14 is a big deal to students, she said. Many expected the event to be canceled.
“I don’t think it could have happened other than the kindness of people and businesses,” Kemplin said. “It’s something we won’t ever forget.”
Though the high school wasn’t damaged, 25 students’ homes were completely destroyed, many other homes are unlivable because of damage and nearly all businesses within West Liberty are closed. Several students and their parents have lost their jobs, so money’s tight.
Nearly 40 students from Franklin County High School’s prom committee helped Cinderella’s Closet coordinator Amy Nance load a truck in Frankfort Thursday afternoon with hundreds of dresses the girls will choose from Saturday.
Nance will deliver the dresses today, and nearly 70 volunteers will show up Saturday to help her run the boutique.
“I know some of these students have lost everything,” said Nance as she coordinated efforts Thursday.
“It’s a day we can say you’re special, you’re beautiful, we’re glad you’re here.”
She said girls are usually emotional about receiving all the pampering for free, and she expects emotions to be even more heightened in West Liberty.
As students carried dresses from the parsonage at First United Methodist Church where they are stored, Nance showed them photos and video of the destruction in West Liberty that she recorded on her phone when she visited.
Robyn Kemper, the jewelry and accessories coordinator for Cinderella’s Closet, stopped by Thursday with another load of donated jewelry. She said individuals and businesses have been generous since they found out about the event three weeks ago.
“People are donating from everywhere,” she said.
Financial donations are still being made, and any money left over will help pay for prom. Nance estimates they’ll be able to give the Morgan County prom committee about $4,000.
Students on FCHS’ prom committee said so much time and effort go into planning the memorable night; they’re glad to be part of making it happen in Morgan County.
Abbi Stamper, a 17-year-old senior who helped load the truck Thursday, said dresses are a big deal for seniors.
“When you step into the right dress, you just feel so beautiful,” Stamper said. “Knowing you’re helping a girl get a dress makes you smile.”
She said she watched coverage of the tornadoes on the news, and it made her think about when her home on Admiral’s Landing was flooded a few years ago.
“I remember walking back in there, and everything was just destroyed, and mud was all over everything, and I was just crying,” she said.
“I hope these dresses speak to them that people are looking out for them, and it will be OK.”