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A formal giveaway

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Michelle Carter spent her Friday in a forest of taffeta, lace, sequins and satin.

"We have something for everyone," she said, clapping her hands together. "We have every size, from a zero up to a 22, 24. We have short dresses, long dresses, ruffly dresses, simple dresses."

The variety isn't an accident: the 600-plus dresses filling the former boutique space in The Village at the Medford Center are meant to accommodate as many tastes as possible.

Carter and her clan of fellow volunteers bustling around the space Friday were preparing for the final stage of the Mac's Prom Dress Giveaway, a community effort started by local women who aim to make sure that no student wanting to go to the prom would be hindered by whether on not they could afford a dress.

"We're hoping that this will be a yearly thing that people can count on," she said. "Anyone is welcome."

The giveaway will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 631 Medford Center next to Delish. Any student who presents a valid student ID or a report card will be able to take a dress home, as well as shoes and accessories if needed.

Find out more in the video below:

The dress giveaway began when Larina Howard from Central Point rallied community support to provide a student in need with a dress and shoes. The massive response she got led to the formation of the Glass Slipper Project.

With donations beginning to pile up without proper space to handle them, Heather Siewell took over the project last year. She kept several hundred dress in her own garage while working to establish a nonprofit under the new name Mac’s Prom Experience, a June 2018 Mail Tribune article said. Carter is treasurer.

This year’s giveaway also offers students a raffle, which includes limo rentals, spray tans, corsages and other prom experiences donated by local businesses.

“I can’t believe the support we’ve had just from local businesses especially around here at the Village,” Carter said. “It’s just amazing that when you really want to help and you go out into the community and it’s so freely given, it feels amazing. And I can’t wait to share that with the girls that come tomorrow.”

The board of directors has also worked with local high schools to get the word out. No proof of need is required, and Carter said that whoever comes, wherever they come from, will be able to “shop.”

It’s not just local women who care about students being able to go to prom — Jorden McKinnen, Julia Zeigler and Kaitlyn Noyes from Crater High School in Central Point also got involved in October for their senior projects.

“It’s just kind of nice to see other girls get dresses that can’t have nice things like that and be able to see them smile about it,” McKinnen said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Volunteers begin organizing prom dresses in a shop at the Medford Center Friday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Michelle Carter hangs accessories in a shop at the Medford Center Friday afternoon.