Last-minute prom dress fiasco averted at Alexandria City High School

(via Operation Deploy Your Dress/Facebook)

(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) It could’ve been curtains for all those free prom dresses this year at Alexandria City High School.

With the high school’s annual shindig scheduled for May 18, it was a shock for administrators to learn Monday that UNCUT Youth, the organization responsible for providing free prom dresses to dozens of students, had backed out.

As of Friday, May 3, UNCUT Youth was still on board to deliver dresses for their second straight year. But an organizer with the nonprofit told ALXnow that they had to make emergency travel plans and, while they provided dozens of dresses, a tuxedo and makeup at an ACHS pop-up last month, were unable to provide dresses in a second pop-up event this month.

ACHS contract psychologist Mary Beth Meeker was told the situation yesterday morning and made a bunch of calls. She needed to find 40 prom dresses.

Meeker called a parent that she knows, Kristen Simpson Creighton, who then posted about the situation on the Parents and Community of Alexandria City High School Facebook page.

Within hours of posting, Operation Deploy Your Dress came forward and offered use of 120 prom dresses.

“This problem got solved pretty immediately,” Meeker said. “I hope everyone has fun at prom, that it’s a good time, and maybe we’ll have some dresses for next year, too.”

Operation Deploy Your Dress provides free ballgowns to U.S. military members and their spouses.

“Military servicewomen and military spouses can come to ODYD and select one dress and one accessory per year,” the company states on its website. “They simply present their military ID card and sign the record book, and they can walk away without spending a dime.”

Creighton said that the response to her post was amazing. She has since collected about 375 prom dresses — all in about 24 hours. She took in a carload of dresses from parents who donated from as far out as Loudoun County and Charlottesville.

“Within just a few hours of me posting, we have had reams of dresses donated,” Creighton said. “There has been an amazing response.”

via Facebook