Skip to content

Maple Ridge event helps students-in-need dress to impress for grad

Putting on the Glitz will take place at Thomas Haney Secondary on March 14
The Putting on the Glitz fundraiser will take place on March 14 and provides free formal wear for students who can’t afford grad outfits. (The News file)

Students will be looking their best at Thomas Haney Secondary next week as they participate in the annual Putting on the Glitz event.

With grad right around the corner, many local students are facing the reality of not being able to afford formal wear for the upcoming celebrations, which one grassroots initiative hopes to change with the help of grants and donations from the community.

RELATED: Maple Ridge cancer patient raising money for others to retrieve eggs before treatment

Putting on the Glitz is organized by the PLEA Community Services Society, representatives from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows community services organizations, and local businesses, and aims to provide formal clothing for local grad students.

The program is in need of grad dresses, suits, tuxedos, shoes, ties, jewelry, and other accessories, in addition to services like seamstressing, hairdressing, make-up, and photography.

PLEA also explained that they are always looking for cash donations as well, with a goal of raising $7,000 by the end of the year. All of the money is set to go toward storing the dresses and tuxedos before the event, cover dry cleaning costs, and pay for refreshments.

There will be professional hair stylists and makeup artists present to get the students all dolled up before the on-site photographer takes their formal and cap and gown grad photos for free.

All of the students will get to take their outfits and accessories home with them to use on grad day.

Michelle Cherak, an organizer for the event, explained that this year, Putting on the Glitz is experiencing its highest number of student referrals ever, with it currently sitting at over 50 students.

“I have been hearing from teachers and school youth workers that this has been a tough year for families financially, which could explain the high number of referrals,” said Cherak.

As a result of this high demand, they are in need of additional hairdressers to help the students look their best at Tuesday’s event.

RELATED: LEGO comes to life at Maple Ridge school competition

Putting on the Glitz will take place at Thomas Haney Secondary on Tuesday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to noon, with all students needing to be finished and out of the school by 4 p.m.

More information is available by contacting organizer Michelle Cherak at

Have a story tip? Email:
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
Read more