Sparkman Library turned into prom boutique for tornado victims

Published: May. 6, 2011 at 9:19 PM CDT|Updated: May. 6, 2011 at 9:49 PM CDT
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HARVEST, AL (WAFF) - Some teenage tornado victims are getting the chance to attend their high school proms thanks to the generosity of others.

A week ago, prom was the last thing on Sparkman High junior Nicole Nunez's mind. Her home was one of hundreds destroyed by several powerful tornadoes that tore through Alabama.

Kristen Tate, a teacher at Lynn Fanning Elementary School in Meridianville, has become a fairy godmother of sorts. Tate, with the help of volunteers, turned Sparkman High's library into a full-service prom boutique, offering free dresses to girls affected by the tornadoes. The dresses were all donated and run from a size double zero to 26.

"It exploded," said Jackie Tate, Kristen's mother. "It started off with just a handful of dresses, and now we have about 3000 dresses that we are placing in these girl's hands."

Nunez is one of them. She tried on six dresses, and eventually found the one.

"Honestly, if they wouldn't have, I wouldn't be going to prom right now," Nunez said. "So I'm very thankful that they're doing this for us."

In addition to a dress, girls were able to get shoes, a handbag, jewelry, even makeup. The only thing they couldn't get there was a prom date.

For volunteers helping the girls pick their dresses, seeing a girl smile after losing so much was what the drive was all about.

"It's very rewarding," Jackie Tate said. "Not only to be able to work here and volunteer here, but to see their faces."

With Sparkman's prom on Saturday, the remaining dresses won't be going to waste. They'll be sent to other areas of the state that have been affected by the tornadoes and haven't had their proms yet.

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