Warsaw Students Carry On Glass Slipper Program

It may not be solving world hunger, but the Glass Slipper Collection at Combined Community Services has been putting smiles on girls’ faces for eight years.
It continues to help high school girls go to prom in dresses they might otherwise not afford due to financial constraints.
“For me I always want to make a big impact on people,” Warsaw Community High School junior and Glass Slipper co-organizer MegAnn Pearl said Monday afternoon. “So doing this, that’s the reason why I’m doing this, but some people will look at it and say, ‘I’d rather donate food or something,’ which is also important. But at the same time, we kind of tend to focus on the big issues of trying to end world hunger or poverty, and we don’t realize that sometimes the little things have the biggest effect. Seeing the girls last year get a dress and the smile on their faces – that’s why for me this is a bigger deal because it’s something people really don’t focus on.”
She said the girls will try on the dresses this year at CCS, 1195 Mariners Drive, Warsaw, on April 9. There will be two shifts, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.
Applications for any girl in Kosciusko County to sign up are at WCHS or CCS, with the deadline set for March 30. By the end of this week, Pearl said the forms also should be available at Tippecanoe Valley, Triton and Wawasee.
“We are mostly focusing on prom, but we still take other donations for other events like semi-formals, graduation and Snowball,” Pearl stated. “Our main focus is prom but we want to help girls in other ways other than just prom.”
CCS Emergency Assistance Coordinator Lindsay Devereaux said a young woman came in who wasn’t in high school but she was about to get married, and didn’t have a wedding dress.
“So she picked one out from the prom dresses. It was cool,” she said.
The Glass Slipper was started by Katy Cobb and Alexis Light when they were students at WCHS in 2009. As they graduated high school, they passed on the annual responsibility of organizing the event to other high school girls, making sure the fairy tale stays alive. This year Pearl is co-organizing the event with WCHS senior Cailin Clay and Abbie Cuban, an Ivy Tech intern at CCS, is assisting.
Peggi Lisenbee-Wright, CCS director of client assistance, said, “We do get donations for young men – ties and shirts and nice things. But without financial support, we can’t help young men as much because they have to wear a tuxedo, they choose to generally. Whereas young women wear dresses.”
Pearl said donations of pant suits also would be appreciated as some girls prefer those over dresses.
Along with clothing donations, Pearl said monetary contributions also are needed. Other items on the “need” list include jewelry, restaurant gift cards or certificates and shoes. The Glass Slipper Collection needs beauticians and cosmetologists to donate their skills for the girls, as well as someone who can make alterations to the dresses as needed.
Lisenbee-Wright said almost every year there are alterations to at least one dress.
“Those can cost as much as a dress,” she said.
If anyone has a donation, they can call Lisenbee-Wright at 574-269-6019 or email her at pwright@combinedcommunityservices.org All donations should be received by April 6. If anyone is writing a check to donate funds, it should be made out to CCS with “Glass Slipper” in the memo line. In the past, Lisenbee-Wright said monetary donations have helped purchase prom tickets for those students who were unable to pay for them.
Along with the applications at schools, Pearl said she is trying to get the schools to allow her to have donation boxes at each one for the Glass Slipper Collection.
She said she is working on getting florists to donate a pair or individual boutonnieres or corsages. “That’s kind of our goal,” she said.
For the restaurant gift certificates or cards, Pearl said they don’t want to ask for a certain amount, but if an establishment is willing to donate, “we want enough to provide for two adult meals.”
Establishments that previously donated meals include The Boathouse, Applebee’s and Hacienda, to name a few.
“It doesn’t have to be just restaurants from Warsaw,” Pearl said. “But more people come here to Warsaw than go to places like Syracuse or North Webster to go to dinner. But even if a place out of town would be willing to donate, we don’t want to just say this is only for Warsaw.”
“We serve the county,” Lisenbee-Wright said, noting the Glass Slipper Collection helps out girls from Wawasee, Tippecanoe Valley and Triton and it’s not necessarily fair for them to have to drive to Warsaw for their meal.
Prom at WCHS is May 14. Pearl said that day, if there are enough girls interested, they will be at CCS for makeup, hair and nails.
Lisenbee-Wright said they can do Warsaw’s prom because CCS is in Warsaw, but “we would love if someone in the other areas wanted to do hairstyles and fingernails.”