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A newly formed Southern Maryland group is trying to ensure that all students in the region get to experience their high school prom night with price being no object.

Project Prom Southern Maryland was born out of a simple conversation among a group of friends, event organizer LaKeysha Boyd-Moore said. Boyd-Moore and her friends, all mothers of adolescent children, were reflecting on the high cost of high school prom nights, and that was when they had the idea to form a group dedicated to making the experience a possibility for all, she said.

To donate

Project Prom of Southern Maryland will host two weekend events.

On March 16, the group will be accepting formal wear donations from noon to 4 p.m. at Body of Christ Church, 12379 Kaine Place, Waldorf. All donations made are tax deductible.

On March 23, the group will host its first prom dress event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Body of Christ Church. The event will feature personal shoppers, dress fittings and giveaways for event attendees. The event is free.

For more information and to learn how to register, go to projectpromsomd.com or call LaKeysha Boyd-Moore at 240-346-8178.

“This is our idea to do something to give back,” Boyd-Moore said. “With me having a son, it wasn’t quite as expensive as for a young lady. Hopefully, we can be a help to people who can’t afford those services.”

Boyd-Moore said the group’s mission will culminate in a day-long event March 23 at a Waldorf church, during which young women who are registered can receive a prom dress for free, along with shoes and other accessories. How many people they can serve, Boyd-Moore said, is dependent on the amount of donations received from the community. The group hopes to help at least 50 young women looking to make their night a special one. So far, Boyd-Moore said, there has been a good response from the community, “but we still have a long way to go.”

Project co-organizer Davita Stewart estimated that the group has received approximately 70 new or gently used dresses so far, and expects to receive more from as far away as Los Angeles and New York leading up to the day of the event.

Stewart said she was motivated to get involved because it fit the mission of a bullying awareness group she runs with her daughters, Bullied But Unbroken. Both groups, Stewart said, aim to empower girls.

“My daughter got to go to her prom, and she loved it,” Stewart said. “She wanted other girls to get the chance to feel the same way she did ... beautiful, like it was all about her.”

Stewart said the group has distributed fliers advertising its services to every public high school in Charles County and that they are “hoping for as many girls as we have dresses” to come out. The group is also hoping to reach students in St. Mary’s and Calvert.

“For one, this is an event that will bring teens together,” Stewart said. “They’ll meet girls from other high schools who are there for the same reason as them. All the volunteers are positive people who want to help and do this for the girls. It’s not just to give them the dresses; it’s about helping them out.”

lrenner@somdnews.com