Students organize dress drive for Elk River girls

Rachel Kaplan

Evolving from the Glass Slipper drive, juniors Rose Geiwitz and Katie McClurg coordinated a new Adopt a Prom Princess drive to provide free prom dress for students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go to their school’s biggest dance of the year. Culminating in a dress and shoe extravaganza, Geiwitz and McClurg’s efforts delivered prom outfits to 15 girls, making their prom possible through Benilde-St. Margaret’s donations.  


Beginning in February, Katie McClurg was recommended from her cousin and past Operation Glass Slipper coordinator, Meredith Montana, to take over the drive this year. However, when McClurg, and Rose Geiwitz, who was also interested, visited BSM service coordinator Ms. Lenhart-Murphy, the drive was deemed not possible because of different on-going drives and the delayed date. 


Coincidentally, a few days previous to speaking with Ms. Lenhart Murphy, she received an e-mail from a BSM grad and teacher at Elk River Highschool, Jenna Nilson, that requested a dress drive for some girls at her school; Elk River didn’t meet the need requirements for Operation Glass Slipper. “A small section of girls wouldn’t have been able to go to prom without dresses that they couldn’t afford,” said Geiwitz.

“It ended up being a better experience to help the girls at Elk River because we got to help them according to each of their specific needs,” McClurg said, “Rather than a big shopping bazaar with Operation Glass Slipper, we could personally help a smaller number of girls.”

Beginning the drive, Geiwitz and McClurg met challenges–first trying to find dresses through the small base of National Honor Society and then Red Knight Volunteer Corps. “We thought it would be easier to get a response through specific organizations,” said Geiwitz, “But it didn’t work out.” 

Changing their plan of action, the girls made the the drive into an adoption program, where girls of certain dress and shoe sizes could “adopt a prom princess” and focus on donating to a specific girl. After collecting two to three dresses for each girl so they would have multiples to choose from, Ms. Lenhart-Murphy accompanied Geiwitz to Elk River where the “fairy godmothers” provided a dress-trying-on party complete with racks of dresses and shoes last Thursday. “[Nilsondecorated the room with a full length mirror,  a piece of tool fabric on the floor (like a red carpet), door prizes, a cheese and cracker tray, a box of chocolates and little disposable champagne glasses with sparkling water,” said Ms. Lenhart-Murphy, “The girls did a toast for us and then picked numbers for the order of trying on dresses.”

“They took turns, and were so kind to each other, got so excited when a dress fit well.  We were thanked dozens of times and hugged millions of times,” said Ms. Lenhart-Murphy, “When a girl put on a dress that fit well, everyone went nuts.  One girl kept hugging her dress saying ‘I love it so much.'”

“That was the best part,” said Geiwitz, “Bringing the dresses and seeing their reactions was the most rewarding part.” With plans to continue Adopt a Prom Princess next year, McClurg and Geiwitz are currently contemplating ways to improve the newly updated dress drive.