Transforming Cinderella project underway in Manila

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Haven Bohannan and Sahara Jacobs display a few of the prom dresses they have acquired for their Transforming Cinderella project at Manila High School. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Haven Bohannan and Sahara Jacobs, Manila High School students, have undertaken a project they named "Transforming Cinderella."

They have worked hard to get the project underway in time for this year's prom. The girls have been collecting prom dresses and accessories, talking to stylists and a seamstress in order to provide not only a dress but hair styles and make-up for prom.

Haven, a junior, and Sahara, a senior, are members of the EAST class which encourages community projects.

Haven heard about a similar project on the news and when she talked to Sahara they decided it was something they wanted to do.

It was more difficult to get started than they thought. First, a place to store the dresses and accessories had to be found.

There was closet space in the gymnasium and in the East classroom, and they are pleased to have about 35 dresses in hand.

Details of the project were posted on Facebook, receiving a good response. Dresses were obtained from Jonesboro, Paragould, Maynard, Portageville and Manila.

Haven and Sahara have paid discounted prices for several dresses and others have been donated.

There is a need for more dresses in all sizes. Most of the dressed donated have been smaller sizes and more medium to plus size dresses are needed, as well as shoes of all sizes.

"This is strictly confidential," Sahara said. "No one will know who is involved. Girls can set up an appointment to try on dresses and pick one they like. They can get a dress right up to the last minute if we have one available in their size, but if they want to have a hair appointment or need the dress adjusted we will need a little time."

They encourage girls not to wait until the last minute.

Once the dresses are chosen, the girls will pick them up a few days before the prom and a time will be set for them to return the dresses following the prom.

Haven said if anyone has a dress, shoes or accessories to donate they can call Haven at (870) 530-2166 or Sahara at (870) 410-0661.

This year's Manila prom date is April 17.

Any girl who needs a dress can contact Haven or Sahara or Angie Gipson, high school counselor.

"We are working with just Manila this year as we get started, but we hope to be able to expand in the future and reach out to other communities."

Both girls agree they want this to be a project that continues year after year and benefits many young women in the future.