No dress, no shoes, no problem | SierraSun.com

No dress, no shoes, no problem

Sierra CountisSierra Sun
Emma Garrard/Sierra SunElaine Durazo holds dresses donated to girls who cannot afford new outfits to wear to their high school proms.
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Elaine Durazo never had the chance to go to a high school prom. Growing up, her family struggled to get by, and extracurricular events like attending her schools prom were simply out of the question.Theres no way they were going to give us the money for a dress, said the Tahoe City Realtor.So, starting this year, she decided to make sure any North Shore or Truckee girl who wants to attend a prom can go, and have a pretty dress to wear, too. Durazo partnered with leadership teachers at North Lake High School and Tahoe Truckee High School to develop a program to provide formal wear for students unable to purchase a brand new gown.There always seems to be a need, Durazo said. They dont have the money for fancy gowns. It should be available to everybody.Many local youths are missing out on the prom experience, an event that goes hand in hand with being an adolescent, she said. One goal of the program is to avoid offending anyone for wearing a dress that isnt new, she said. On the contrary, participating in a school prom can help boost a teens self-esteem, Durazo added. So far, shes collected close to 30 dresses at Prudential California Realty offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, the collection points for the prom dresses. From short and strapless to long and beaded, every dress that is donated also comes with a memorable prom moment shared by the previous owner, Durazo said. Prom is one of the biggest events in a students life at that age, said Mike Trute, owner of Big Tree Cleaners and Laundromat in Tahoe City. He has offered his services to dry-clean all the donated gowns for free. He reminisced about driving his prom date to the dance in his 1968 Pontiac Le Mans, but today teens are renting limos for the night and the evening has become much more expensive, Trute said. He said he hopes to continue helping with the prom dress program in years to come. About a week before prom night, Durazo said shell divvy up the dresses between both schools and have a try-on party for the girls. The dresses likely wont be a perfect fit and the styles might not be of-the-moment, but that of secondary interest. Durazo said shes hoping to raise sufficient monetary donations so students can get their hair and nails done, too, so they can enjoy the full prom experience. Prudential Realtors will be collecting dresses until May 23.