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Prom Dresses for A Cause

My name is Bailey Basham and I am a junior in Corning, NY. Where do I begin?

I guess my freshman year. I spent a lot of time in the girl’s bathroom of my school, always scared because of one girl. One girl, who had no consequences for her behavior because her mother was a teacher and none of the other teachers and administrators wanted to get involved. I called my mom from the bathroom at least once a week begging her to come get me. It took an entire school year of crying and constant calls to the school by my mother for us to get help. After all was said and done, I decided to take back my power and use the bullying that I experienced to inspire me. I’m not the only one she has bullied and I’m sure I won’t be the last. It is however, the last time I would give her any power in my life.

The next year was so much better and this year, my junior year, I decided to speak out and give back. I want everyone to find their voice and use it loud and proud and if nobody is listening, yell louder! I wanted to find a creative way to raise money and bring awareness to bullying. That is how the Prom Closet started. So many kids don’t go to their proms every year but I am determined that it not be because of financial difficulties. We posted a message on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to clean out their closets and get rid of their old prom dresses. The response was overwhelming. Our local mall donated the space to hold the event and so many local businesses have donated things, like dinners, spray tans, flowers, tuxedos, hair do’s. To date we have 302 dresses either donated or being sold for $100 or under. If someone donated a dress then 100% of the proceeds go to PACER and if someone brought in a dress for us to sell for them, they receive 90% and PACER receives 10%. Our goal was to try and raise $300 dollars but we have far surpassed that number. We are continuing the project until May 8th, and I hope to pass it down to another junior next year so they can continue to give back. It has been an amazing experience to fight for something so near and dear to my heart and to watch the faces of girls, who would otherwise not be able to afford to go to their prom, walk out feeling beautiful and confident.

My giveback, helps not only girls and boys afford to go to prom and raise money for bullying prevention but we are also allowing students to come in to work their community service hours they need to graduate. It’s a triple threat!