[EDITOR’S NOTE: Back with more great work is our youngest-ever Contributor – 11-year old Isabel Herbruger – who has earned a Girl Scout badge in Journalism, and is also developing her skills for another 4H photography project after winning top prizes in it last year. We encourage residents of all ages to submit stories and photos for posting – for consideration, please email yours to [email protected]!] Photos and Story by Isabel Herbruger, age 11 On Saturday, April 30, 2016, the Burien Community Center became a one-stop prom shop for a carefully selected group of 160 high schoolers from the Highline School District. It was like fairy godmothers from Cinderella came to Burien for the day. After signing in, friends and family anxiously waited while each ‘princess to be’ was taken by a personal shopper into a room full of incredible dresses. After finding ‘the dress’ and a personal fitting, alterations were done while students finished shopping. Some dresses needed a little more work. Those were taken home by the sewing fairies to be finished and delivered in time for prom. I asked the sewing fairies how they got involved, especially since they are a radio prize lady, a food saleslady, a school employee, and a Boeing worker the rest of the year. One of them came from a family who owned a bridal dress shop for many years. With a big smile she told me, “Eight years ago I was conned into helping with this by my dear friend Laura. I continued ‘the con’ to find these other great ladies. All of us love to sew.” Being a beginner sewer myself, I asked for the best dress story they had. “That huge ballgown dress a few years ago is probably my favorite. A lot of extra work went into making it fit just right. But the best part of all is meeting these incredible high schoolers and hearing their stories,” said one of sewing fairies. The others nodded in agreement. Is there a worst dress story? “Not really. It is always hard to say there is no way to make the dress work the way they want it to. But they are always so great and understand if there was a way to do it, we would.” After the dress fitting, the personal shopper takes them to find shoes, shawls, purses, and jewelry to finish the outfit. A stop by ‘Makeup’ teaches them tips and Jamberry Nails gives them a coordinated ‘manicure in a bag’ for the night. Finally, all these magical items gathered are carefully packed to be taken home to finish each student’s own ‘Cinderella Story.’ The head fairy godmother told me they collect donations all year long, but there is extra focus in the month of February to collect dresses. Many of the dresses never actually get to prom. It can cost over $1,000 per couple (tickets, dinner, limo, dress/tux, pictures). But that is okay. In the eight years of this event, the focus has been helping these students know they are incredible…incredibly beautiful if you ask me. Click images to see larger versions/slideshow: dress-02 dress-03 dress-04 stuff-04 stuff-05 stuff-07 stuff-08 stuff-09 stuff-10 dress-10 dress-01 dress-06 dress-07 dress-08 dress-09 stuff-01 stuff-02 stuff-03 stuff-06 dress-05 For more information – including how to donate – please visit http://www.highlineschoolsfoundation.org/programs/project-promise/]]>