Do you remember your prom? You may have great memories of dressing up in formal wear and making your way to the dance floor to have some fun with friends. For some students, however, prom was a difficult time when their economic situation was even further highlighted by the need to spend money on a dress, shoes, and more. Once Upon A Prom is taking the stress out of prom for many families by providing free dresses, shoes and accessories right here in Greenfield.  

Once Upon A Prom believes a dream prom dress should be available to everyone

It all started with a small group of parents who wanted to offer a program that would meet the needs of youth within the Hancock County community. They knew that the cost of purchasing a dress for prom was enough to leave some students unable to attend this classic high school event. At first, they decided to host an event in which high school girls would be able to shop for a dress for free. They would do it based on the needs of students who lived in homes with lower incomes. 

During their first year, Once Upon A Prom was able to help 34 girls take home dresses for their upcoming prom. It was all made possible through volunteer efforts, individual donations and local businesses who donated services and gift certificates. They were pleasantly surprised at the turnout of support from the Hancock County community.  

As Once Upon a Prom has evolved, they have moved on from a “needs-based” approach to opening the event to anyone who would like to attend. They realized that, by only including low-income households, they were leaving out a portion of the middle class who wasn’t awarded financial support but was struggling just as much to send their youth to prom. They also observed that, by opening it to everyone, they were taking the stigma out of getting a free prom dress.  

In their second year, 2020, Once Upon A Prom was able to help 187% more youth than during their first run, cementing them as a successful supporter of girls right here in Hancock County. Now, the event is gaining even more popularity, with a whopping 266 dresses given away in 2023.  

Sponsors and those donating and volunteering are a huge key to success. The Overlook at Briney Creek has become a title sponsor, donating a beautiful space in which to hold this event. Changing Footprints ensures that plenty of shoes are available for girls who wish to complete their look. The Jane Pauley Community Health Center and Wilkinson Insurance are not only sponsors but also function as drop off locations year-round for gently used formal dresses that will be available during Once Upon A Prom. This year, Yard Card Queen and Color Street have also joined to help create a successful event.  

Want to participate? 

This year’s Once Upon A Prom shopping event will take place on February 3rd and 4th at The Overlook at Briney Creek. Donations are welcome prior to the event at Wilkinson Insurance in Wilkinson, Indiana or at The Jane Pauley Community Health Center in Greenfield. Dress donations are also taken on the day of the event. As Once Upon A Prom seeks to obtain 501(c)3 status, let’s support their mission of making prom an accessible event for all youth right here in Hancock County. Follow them on Facebook for updates about their upcoming shopping event!