Closet gears up for proms


The Enterprise

It’s prom season, and Drexel H. Foundation’s Formal Closet program is ready to help teens look their best.

The Closet offers tuxes and more than 300 free formal dresses for teens. It is available to anyone who wants a free outfit and can pledge to volunteer skills or time in exchange to help Drexel’s many programs.

The project hails back to 2014, when Hannah Bates gathered new and used short-styled dresses as part of her senior project. The program continues to grow, according to Sandijean Fuson, Drexel Foundation president.

“We have received many brand new dresses recently from commercial prom shops & consignment stores. It is great to share this beautiful formal wear with the youth of Malheur County, and the Western Treasure Valley youth. Many Girls & boys from Parma, Fruitland Nyssa, Payette Ontario, and Vale have chosen to save money and give back in exchange for these items.” Fuson said.

The Closet features a variety of styles and sizes.

“All you have to do is contact us to set up a time, have a parent or guardian accompany you when you pick out your dress and then pledge to get involved as a volunteer,” Fuson said. “Be sure to leave your name, year in school, dress size and a return phone number when you call.”

Fuson said those seeking dresses can volunteer in a variety of programs, making posters, organizing games and dances, creating workshops for children, and more.

The dress program teaches sustainability, Fuson said, allowing teens to save money for college rather than spending $200-plus on a dress that gets worn once.

Appointments are required for teens wanting to “shop” at the Closet.

To make an appointment, donate, volunteer or get more information, call Fuson at 541-473-3470.