A recent survey from Visa showed that the average US family plans to spend about $919 on a prom-going teen, with parents covering as much as 73% of the costs. With sky-high costs related to this American rite of passage, some families really can’t afford the all the bells and whistles that go along with a high school prom, especially for families of seniors who often have college tuition looming in the near future.

Fortunately, there are several special local groups and organizations that have been created to support students and make prom dreams come true to those who may not be able to afford a dress for prom. There are programs in Rochester, Buffalo, and Alfred that host huge events all to give every girl in our community the opportunity to experience prom.

Local generosity and support of these kinds of events if crucial, so after prom consider donating your daughters gown to one of these great organizations. It really affords low-income families the opportunity be able to participate in special events leading up to their graduation from high school.



The Fairy Godmothers of Greater Rochester goal is to ensure every young lady in the community has the opportunity to experience their high school prom feeling like a princess and that they are the most important in the world if only for that moment. Self-esteem and inner strength is what we advocate for each and every young lady by providing them with a personal shopper and a “Cinderella” like experience at our annual Prom Dress Fair.

Every young lady leaves with an evening gown, accessories and a goody bag that includes a $10.00 gift card to PayLess Shoes so they are ready for the big event. This is a high-quality program, with over 3,000 dresses – nearly 50% are brand new – ranging from size 0 to 38. Because this is such a personalized experience girls are asked to register through their high school guidance counselor.

Event Details:

2017 Fairy Godmother’s of Greater Rochester Annual Prom Fair
Saturday – April 1, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Riverside Convention Center – 123 East Main Street
Rochester, New York

Official Website: Fairy Godmother’s of Greater Rochester
Contact: Official Contact Form


Alleghany County

A student-driven initiative, Project Prom Dress is in its 4th year and has grown tremendously, thanks to the dedication of the sisters of Delta Chi Omega. throughout the year the society works hard collecting new or gently used prom gowns, shoes, and accessories from local bridal shops and individuals.

In April, Delta Chi Omega invites high school students from Allegany County and surrounding areas to come to their extravaganza event at Alfred State, where they can choose a gown free of charge.

Event Details:

Project Prom Dress Extravaganza 2017
April 9 in the Pioneer Center Alfred campus.
Pioneer Center on the Alfred Campus -10 Upper College Dr Alfred, NY 14802

Official Webpage: http://www.alfredstate.edu/news/2017-01-17/project-prom-dress-extravaganza-be-held-april-9

Contact: For more information, please contact Alfred State Event Concierge Sandra Burdick at [email protected] or at 607-587-4098.


8th Annual Prom Dress Drive in Hamburg

The 8th Annual Prom Dress Drive which is organized by Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon and Urban Valet Dry Cleaner’s President Eric Pyne is in full swing again this year! The event is open to anyone and the dresses will be cleaned free of charge thanks to Urban Valet and made available to any local high school girls who are in need of a dress for prom.

The Town Hall Plaza will host a 2 “Free Shopping Days” inviting area high school girls to choose one free dress from the collection that features a variety of styles, colors, and sizes. This event gives girls the fun experience of shopping for a gown without worrying about cost.

Event Details:

The 8th Annual Prom Dress Drive organized by Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon and Urban Valet Dry Cleaner
Saturday, April 29 from noon-3pm.
Sunday, April 30 from 2 pm.-5pm.
Town Hall Plaza- 6000 South Park Avenue Suite 200, Hamburg NY

Official Facebook Page: The 8th Annual Prom Dress Drive
Contact: For additional information or to contact Legislator Dixon, please call (716) 858-8671 or email [email protected]

Gowns for Prom 2017 in Kenmore

Colvin Cleaners’ annual event  Gowns for Prom enables young ladies in need to select the prom gown of their dreams. Colvin Cleaners collects, dry cleans and tailors prom gowns for young ladies in the Western New York community.

All young ladies in WNY are welcome to come to Shea’s during Gowns for Prom to select a gown. You must bring your student ID and present it before you are able to get a gown.
New gowns are put out every day of the event, so there is always a fresh selection of gowns.
Sign up in the form below if you will be attending the Gowns for Prom event in 2017 to get a gown.

Event Details:

Gowns for Prom Colvin Cleaners’ annual event
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 4th, 5th & 6th 2017 from 3 pm to 8 pm.
Shea’s Performing Arts Center
646 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

Official WebsiteGowns for Prom


Becca’s Closet, Gasport NY Chapter

The Women Helping Others organization at Zion Lutheran Church in Gasport run this chapter of Becca’s Closet and they have hundreds of slightly used or new prom dresses to distribute at NO COST to girls in need in the area who would otherwise find it difficult or impossible to attend their prom. Girls do need to schedule an appointment with personalized “shopper”, but there are many dates available for giveaways.

Event Details:

March 18th 10am-3pm
Zion Lutheran Church
4447 Central Ave, Gasport, NY 14067

March 24th 4mm-8pm
Light on the Beach Fellowship.
14126 Lockport Street, Olcott, NY.

March 25th 10am-3pm
Light on the Beach Fellowship.
14126 Lockport Street, Olcott, NY.

April 8th 10am-3pm
Zion Lutheran Church
4447 Central Ave, Gasport, NY 14067

April 29th 10am-3pm
Zion Lutheran Church
4447 Central Ave, Gasport, NY 14067

Official Webpage: Becca’s Closet
Contact: Paula Travis at [email protected] or 716.957.8157.

Do you know of a Prom Dress Donation Program I missed? Comment below or email the details to [email protected] and I will be sure to get all the information added to this post!

Don’t forget to share this, every girl deserves to feel like a princess on prom night!


Photo Credits: Kevin Sumual