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Student addresses needs of others Ernesto Lopez | Thu, May 27 2010 04:57 PM

 As prom drew closer at Eastlake High School, Madeleine Mauro, 18, said she heard other girls in her school talk about not being able to afford dresses; some of the girls even said they wouldn't go to prom.

 Mauro said she hadn't realized how expensive prom dresses were until she went out looking for her own. 

 "I immediately thought it'd be nice to help others who can't afford it," she said. "I cleared it through ASB and started announcements at school asking people to donate (gently worn) dresses for prom."

 Speech pathologist at the high school and Mauro's mother, Rose Anne Stevens, said prom dresses are expensive. 

 She said they range from $180 for a simple dress, $275 for a mid price dress to very expensive.

The Pretty in Pink dress drive received 28 donations from students and school staff and six girls were able to get a dress to attend prom on May 15.

"It felt great to see other students donating dresses. I realized I wasn't the only one noticing the need," Mauro said.

Jinna Graham, 18, one of the students who picked out a dress, said she had already canceled her prom date because she could not afford a dress. But she was ultimately contacted by Mauro. 

"I wasn't going to prom, because dresses are too expensive.  I would be wearing a stupid dress anyways," Graham said. "But I was called out of class and told to pick a dress. I couldn't believe I would be able to go to prom, I was excited."

Graham said she saw Mauro at prom and gave her a big hug and thanked her again for the dress.

"I had a lot of fun at prom and I took lots of pictures," Graham added. "I am so thankful."

Stevens said some of the girls called in to pick a dress were in tears because, like Graham, they would not have gone to prom if it wasn't for their donated dress.

Since Mauro will be graduating in June and attending U.C. Davis next school year, she said the remaining dresses will be stored and used for next year's dress drive. Stevens will be leading the project but Mauro said she hopes another student will take over as well.

"It felt great to help others, I am always looking to do something for others and this was a great way to help," Mauro said.

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