For many students, just the cost of prom tickets can be tough to cover. Add dinner, a dress or a tuxedo, and the high school rite of passage can be out of reach.
Tony Madrigal wanted to help low-income students get to the prom. So, with fellow members of the Latino Community Roundtable of Stanislaus County, he launched an effort to collect dresses and suits, to be distributed next month.
So far, "Project Prom" has collected roughly 95 dresses, but only five tuxedoes.
"We're in desperate need," Madrigal said. One problem, obviously, is that while girls buy their dresses, guys generally only rent tuxedoes.
"Some students can't even afford the rental of a tux," Madrigal said. He said he welcomes the donation of regular suits, as well.
Madrigal said he got the idea for the giveaway after seeing it done in other cities. Unlike similar efforts, Project Prom is open to anyone.
"No questions asked," Madrigal said. "I'm happy to come out and pick up donations from anybody.
"We really urge everybody to take a look in their closet and see if they have an old suit or a dress just hanging in there," he said. "You can donate it to help make a student's prom a nice memory."
The giveaway is set for April 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church hall, 709 J St., Modesto. Madrigal can be reached at (209) 579-4776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.