Local ‘Gowns for Good’ organization hopes to help high schoolers via upcoming giveaway event

Emilia McLeod, Chief Social Media and Web Editor

Prom is right around the corner, and with it comes the stress of dress prices, which are rising rapidly.

This is what Operation Prom National Network hopes to help high schoolers avoid. They have 16 locations across the country that aim to make prom more accessible for low-income students. One of them is here in Michigan, called Gowns for Good.

University of Michigan senior Mykel Dolinksi is the vice president of UM’s Society of Women Engineers and closely knit with the Ann Arbor location. She explained how the operation runs, as well as how they came to be.

“We were originally an Operation Prom group founded in 2005 at the University of Michigan,” said Dolinksi. “Once Operation Prom went public, we had to rebrand the student organization but remained affiliated with the nation network. Noel [D’ Allaco, founder] adds our information for advertising and we can be found on the website too. The operation runs solely based on donations, so we get a lot of local donations through their site and some large donations have been routed to us through Noel.”

Dolinksi said that they have many events, but have not been able to have one since 2019 due to COVID. Their next event takes place this Saturday, March 26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Pierpont Commons, 2101 Bonisteel Blvd. on North Campus. The event is open to the public and does not require an appointment or reservation. The dresses range all sizes and styles and are completely free.

“With our event, we hope to give students the chance at a magical prom night without the burden of the cost. Everyone deserves to feel special on their prom night,” Dolinksi said. “We’re hoping to reach as many people as possible since we’ve accumulated so many dresses since COVID, but haven’t been able to hold events.”

Dolinksi also expressed the importance of causes like Operation Prom and the local Gowns for Good.

“So many people love their prom dresses but never have another chance to wear them, so they sit in their closet. Donating to a cause like Gowns for Good and Operation Prom  not only gives their dress another life but can really make a huge difference in the new owners’ life,” said Dolinksi. “While beauty comes from within, the perfect gown can help bring that out and may instill confidence in high schoolers. It may even allow someone who couldn’t normally afford to go to prom the chance to have that amazing experience.”