YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — All week long, a Jewish community center in Yonkers has been a pre-prom hot spot for high fashion, where more than 100 young women have gone glam without breaking the bank.

Girls from Maria Regina Catholic High School have been helping less fortunate students dress for prom success.

“There’s no use in having a dress if it’s going to sit in your closet and you only wear it once. So it’s good to give back,” said Kacey D’Ambrosio, who spearheaded the prom dress drive.

More than 100 gowns were collected, dry-cleaned and donated to young women from less fortunate families.

“We all know that beauty comes from within. But a little glitz can’t hurt,” Valerie Reidy said.

Alexa Guerrero is a senior at Yonkers’ Gorton High School. At next week’s prom, she’ll be quite the lady in red in a donated gown.

“I love it. It compliments me. I love the glitter and the shine. I just like the style overall,” she said.

The Maria Regina dress drive was inspired by Operation Prom, which gave away 2,000 dresses this year in Westchester County. Noel D’Allacco founded the charity 15 years ago. It now has chapters in nine states, helping young women shine in a way they otherwise might not be able to afford.

“There’s a lot of pressure, self-esteem and self-confidence. And by them getting a free prom dress, it just makes them feel so much better,” said D’Allacco.

“It’s definitely a pressure overall, because you know everybody wants to look better than everyone else or equally as beautiful. And building your self-confidence is an issue already,” Guerrero said, adding she’s grateful for the donation.

As for the donors, it’s a lesson generosity is always in fashion.

Young men are getting in on the action, too. Operation Prom says it collects and donates a growing number of tuxedos every year.


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