“Project Glam is all about granting lasting memories,” said organizer Pamela Brown about the event now in its second year. “All of our dresses are donated from individuals or directly from the retailers.” And how did they get the word out? “We contacted guidance counselors from schools across the cities, and they passed the information onto their students.”

Browsing through the racks of dresses

It’s a rite of passage for many a high school student- prom. Months of planning often go into that special day, but expenses can run high and provide for more than a few financial headaches. The women behind the organization W Girls recognized this, and so an idea was hatched. Project Glam, held this weekend at the Prince George’s Ball Room in New York City, gives away prom dresses free of charge to thousands of deserving girls along with free cosmetics, donated water, and a cheering crowd of volunteers.

The word must’ve gotten out well, as lines of girls from all five boroughs waited outside the doors. Two to three thousand attendees were expected over the course of the day. But an hour’s wait was well worth it for these girls as they were ushered into the ballroom lined with racks of dresses. “Before I got here, I didn’t know what to expect. But there’s such a good selection of dresses,” said Amy, 18. Her friend Kathryn, also 18, agreed, hoping to find something short and simple. Both girls expected to go home with dresses in hand.

Yulma, another high school senior, was just as surprised by the overabundance of dresses, talking excitedly about her prom cruise as she searched for short, floral dresses. Indeed no matter what your style or size, you could be sure to find something that matched your tastes. And for many girls like thirteen year old Luz, this was a great way to hang out with pals. “All my friends are here, and we’re just having a good time looking through dresses.”

Others came with their mothers to help them out. And Cynthia, mother of 18 year old Chanel from the Bronx couldn’t help gushing over the event. “It’s a great opportunity for girls to find dresses. Especially in this economy. Having one less thing to worry about is amazing.”