St. Peters (KSDK) -- The snow hasn't even melted and yet we're talking about a springtime tradition - junior and senior prom - the night a girl gets to feel like Cinderella. But the financial burden of the evening can be too much for some families. It's the reason the Cinderella Project was born.
Cinderella's story, as we all know it, didn't start at Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters. But Friday night we got tell a new version of this fairy tale.
"We're sorting and putting the ones we can sell to the girls on the rack and other ones that have stains and such, we're bagging up to donate," said Pam Raines, who is the coordinator of the Cinderella Project, which is sponsored by Community Council of St. Charles County.
You could call her the fairy godmother.
"For a lot of families, the first thing to go when they have financial difficulties is things like prom," she explained.
So, throughout the year, the group collects formal wear of all shapes and sizes in anticipation of the main event. Friday night Pam, her daughter and a handful of other volunteers prepared the pop-up shop for what will begin Monday afternoon. That's when more than 200 high school junior and senior girls - referred by local agencies and organizations that serve underprivileged teens - will have the week to find a free dress for prom.
"I know how I would feel if I didn't have enough money to go to prom or homecoming," said Pam's daughter, Analise Benz, 13. "I would feel really left out and bad, and just seeing all these girls get these dresses makes me feel really happy."
"Just seeing that look on the girls' faces when they find that special dress and that they know that they're gonna look beautiful for that night of prom, I think that's exciting," added Raines.
To learn more about the Cinderella Project, go to http://www.communitycouncilstc.org/CinderellaProject.aspx