By Cory James

FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island organization is spreading love with the gift of dresses.

Freeport High School’s gym was transformed into a dress boutique for students Friday.

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Lavay Foster was one of dozens of girls sifting through gowns on racks that were donated by the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association.

The group of Latino lawyers in the community give girls like Lavay that perfect prom dress for free.

“It means a lot because people are really struggling right now,” Lavay told CBS2’s Cory James. “And it takes the weight off my family.”

Because of the pandemic, the girls were not able to a bring a guest with them, but Ms. Lolita Beathea, the school’s badminton coach, was among a number of staff members there for support.

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“I saw a lot of the other kids who I never see in dresses, which was totally amazing,” she said. “And it was nice to be part of something that’s so big to them and important.”

The bar association donated about 150 dresses, at least 60 of them now in the hands of students going to prom.

“Last year, we collected gowns. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, it was cancelled, so we had the overflow from that year and then with the excess dresses that we were able to collect this year, we were able to come here with a tremendous selection,” bar association president Liza Milgrim Reyes said. “So being able to give these girls a free gown, this is a celebration of them.”

One by one, the girls tried on dresses. Lavay came out in a black gown to a cheering crowd, but a yellow-and-black patterned dress created a magical moment for a teen, who was left saying “yes to the dress.”

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A dress she will wear with friends to an event she and many students thought they might not have this school year.

Cory James