Graduation night will be magical for some local high school students thanks to Putting on the Glitz.
The fourth annual event, held last week, welcomed 23 girls and nine boys facing financial challenges that would otherwise prevent them from attending their graduation ceremonies.
Hundreds of graduation outfits, including gowns, tuxes and suits, were available to the students, along with their choice of shoes, jewelry and accessories to complete their ensembles.
Once the gowns and suits were altered by volunteers, the students received free makeovers, including hair and makeup before posing for free graduation pictures and glam shots.
“It was just remarkable. The girls leave feeling really cherished and beautiful and that they were never in need in the first place,” said volunteer Kimberley Clarke.
The program is run through PLEA Community Services Society of B.C. and supports graduating students from schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
“It is open to all schools in School District No. 42 and school councillors make the referral on behalf of the youth. That way we know they are financially in need and that they are also on track to graduate,” said organizer Michelle Cherak.
Selected students are sent official invitations by mail, although last minute referrals are never turned away.
“If they are in Grade 12 and if they are in need, then we will do our best to accommodate,” said Clarke.
The students get to keep the outfits for the night of their actual graduation ceremonies.
Cherak is always looking for donations. She is most in need of plus-size dresses, but all donations are welcome.
• To donate, contact Cherak at email@example.com.