APPLETON - Like the name implies, the program has been working for years to transform girls that otherwise couldn't afford to go to prom.
A high school girl getting a made up for prom can easily cost upwards of $200, $300, $400 and more when you include everything from the shoes to the dress. Even bargain shopping can cost too much for some. So just like with Cinderella, fairy godmothers in the Fox Valley are swooping in to help.
"Operation Cinderella is an event we put on to help young girls who have a financial need be able to attend prom for free," said Tanya Lukes with Operation Cinderella.
This year 150 girls from a dozen different schools throughout the Fox Valley were invited to take part in Operation Cinderella. The girls signed up for the prom makeover, but guidance counselors at their schools selected those who needed it most.
"Just so they can feel like a Cinderella, a princess and they can have a great day and feel special," said Jill VandenOever, organizer.
VandenOever and a friend started the initiative a few years back after seeing similar efforts in other parts of the country.
Each year the results are heart warming.
"At first I was a little nervous. I'd done this twice with one of my friends before, she's older than me and now it finally felt like it was my turn to be Cinderella and have my fairy godmother. So I was really excited," said Amber Cowart of Kimberly.
"I think it's absolutely awesome that they do this for the girls and for them to be able to get stuff and be able to go to prom and not have to worry," said Linda Cowart, Amber's mother.
And the Cinderella experience here includes not only the dress, but shoes and jewelry accessories. Then add to that tips for doing nails and hair.
"It gives them an opportunity just to make them feel important and beautiful and they're so wonderful and deserving to begin with so it's just really exciting to be able to give them that," said Katie Grassetto, volunteer.
All of the items are donated to the cause, or purchased with monetary contributions. And for the transformed Cinderellas get to keep everything so nobody turns into a pumpkin at midnight.
Organizers say no one should miss their prom. Lawrence University helped out with Saturday's event hosting the Operation Cinderella program on campus.
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