Michelle Cherak with PLEA Community Services wants people to donate their gently used dresses and suits at one of the two dress drives being held in the community. (Colleen Flanagan-THE NEWS)

Glitz drive needs grad attire for SD42 students

Dress drives on Jan. 18 and Feb. 1

Every high school student dreams of graduation.

Yet, some are unable to afford the expense of marking the milestone in life.

Putting On The Glitz is an annual event that provides clothing and accessories for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows students to attend their high school graduation ceremonies.

Qualifying students get to choose a dress or suit to attend graduation along with all the accessories. They are also given a makeover and free graduation photographs, both cap and gown and formal.

RELATED: Maybe Macklemore had it right

The grassroots initiative started in 2012 is organized by PLEA Community Services and also involves representatives from Ridge Meadows Community Service Agencies and local businesses.

Last year, around 50 students benefited from the program after getting a referral from their school counsellors or teachers.

Two dress drives will be taking place so people can drop off their gently-used donations.

Michele Cherak, with PLEA, said most in need are plus-sized dresses, but a selection of dresses in every size are sought to give students a choice.

Cherak said the campaign also needs women’s grad-appropriate shoes, clutch purses, men’s suits, men’s shoes, hair accessories, jewellery, ties, new dress socks for boys, and pocket squares.

READ MORE: Glitz put on for graduates

Cherak can’t believe how much the program has grown in size over the past eight years.

“We started off helping two or three kids the first year and now we’re up to 50,” said Cherak.

“Grad is very expensive and for a lot of our families it’s just not possible for the kids to be able to afford all that’s required,” adding that even graduation photos can cost hundreds of dollars.

Before Putting on the Glitz, local students used to be sent to the Cinderella program in Vancouver. But that can no longer support students from outside the city.

“I don’t know if in today’s economy people are struggling a bit more,” said Cherak.

The first dress drive will be taking place Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Haney Place Mall, 11900 Haney Place.

The second drive will be on Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 1 at ValleyFair Mall, 22709 Lougheed Highway.

Putting on the Glitz takes place March 4.

Anyone wishing to qualify in the school district can ask a teacher or school counsellor to send a referral to Cherak at PLEA Community Services.

• For more information, email mcherak@plea.bc.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Golfer survives major heart attack on Pitt Meadows course

Golfing 9-1-1 operator and others came to his assistance

Local theatre still struggling under COVID-19

How long can show go on for Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows’ cinemas?

LETTER: B.C. Parks need to be a priority in the upcoming election

Maple Ridge writer feels a more effort must be dedicated to preserving and upkeeping parks

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Most Read