GARDINER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Over 100 students shopped for prom dresses at Gardiner Area High School Saturday.
They had 500 dresses to choose from - all free of charge.
That's thanks to the Cinderella Project, which has been offering free prom dresses to any Maine high school students who need one for 14 years.
Finding the perfect prom dress is a special moment for many high schoolers.
For Mya Glidden of Belfast, she missed out on that experience for her first two years of high school.
“I had to use the same dress I used from freshman year at [sophomore prom],” she explained. “And I just felt weird because everyone was staring at me.”
She struggled to come up with the money - usually hundreds of dollars - to get a prom dress for her sophomore year.
“I felt like I was being looked at weirdly, because I wore the same dress two times in a row,” Glidden said.
Seeing her classmates' dresses on Instagram made it even more challenging. “They're all pretty and everything, but it's just so much money to spend like $200 on a dress,” she said.
Now she's getting her moment, thanks to the Cinderella Project of Maine.
Meg Gipson opened the Gardiner branch four years ago to follow up the original Belfast dress giveaway.
“What we're trying to do is provide an opportunity for students to feel really special. Not based on anything other than the fact that they deserve to feel special,” she said.
After trying on five dresses, Mya knew she had found the one.
“I just thought it was really pretty, and I just felt like a princess in it,” she said.
The Cinderella Project is completely volunteer-based, and is always accepting monetary or dress donations.