Sparkle Network’s Prom Closet Project Makes Dreams Come True – Macomb Daily

Warren’s Ava Langley almost missed her prom.

“She and her friends were talking about prom and what they were going to wear,” Ava’s mom, Tina Langley, said. “Some of the girls were planning to pay up to $400. Ava was working but she was also saving for college.

After graduating from Henry Ford High School, she planned to pursue a career in biology.

“I don’t even know if it’s even worth going,” Ava told her mom after the chat with her friends.

However, his mother knew otherwise.

The prom is the last hurrah and the culmination of four years of learning and, in many cases, friendships that began in kindergarten. For students, prom and graduation symbolize the end of being a kid in high school through the start of their adult years with all that that might bring.

Tina and her husband, Derek, are middle-class parents and with one child already in college and another going to elementary school, their budget couldn’t allow for a $400 dress either.

Then Tina came across a Facebook post from the Sparkle Network’s Prom Closet project inviting all seniors in need of a formal prom dress to visit the prom closet during one of her stops in the Southeast. from Michigan.

The Sparkle Network, which is a charity that helps various causes through fundraisers and programs, started the Prom Closet Project seven years ago. Its founder, Moe Lietz, came up with the idea after a friend told her that, being a single mother on a tight budget, she was unable to buy her daughter a dress for prom.

Lietz, knowing a little about fashion design and sewing, made the dress herself. The impact this beautiful dress had on one girl is what prompted Lietz to start a dress closet for other girls in the same situation. Every year since then, the Sparkle Network has held a Vault Tour where teens can make an appointment online to visit the closet and choose their dream dress.

Ava Langley, left, and her mother, Tina Langley, strike a pose on prom night. Photo courtesy of the Langley family

After Tina made an appointment for Ava, she still didn’t know what to expect, but she figured the chance to get a decent dress at a discount was worth a try. One of the stops on the tour that year was Macomb Mall.

“We went in the evening around 6:30 p.m. When we arrived she was there to greet us,” Tina, from Lietz, said. “She was very patient and super approachable.”

Within minutes, Lietz and Tina had about 10-12 dresses ready to go. Ava wanted something classy and elegant and although all the dresses were beautiful, she ended up choosing a beaded lavender pink dress which matched all of her expectations and her great little waistline.

“It was gorgeous,” Tina said, but the price was also $300.

When Tina and Ava saw it, they both thought that if the dress was half price, they could split the cost between them.

But it was not expected. It was totally free.

Just like the pretty shoes and jewelry Ava chose to go with it.

“We were both considering the cost when she dropped the bombshell that it was free,” Tina said.

Seeing their expression is only part of the reason Lietz continued the tradition of the Prom CLoset project.

Her popularity grew, and Michigan retailers reached out to support the cause by giving Lietz a new crop of dresses every year.

“She’s a wonderful thing and she’s such a wonderful woman that people want to help her,” Tina said, echoing the words of many moms and dads who got to see their daughter — and even their son — because that the closet has had its share of misfires. for the guys – live their prom with all the style of their classmates.

Ava Langley not only attended prom with her date, but also got a presidential scholarship to Albion College, which was also a dream come true.

The Prom Closet project is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will include the following dates and locations:

  • April 2/3: Play Place Autism Center (Sterling Heights)
  • April 23: Children with Hair Loss (South Rockwood)
  • April 24: Lashes Kween Studio (Dearborn Heights)
  • April 29/30: Macomb Mall (tentative)
  • May 7: Dobrusin Law Firm (Pontiac)
  • May 14: Woodside Church (Township of Chesterfield)

The closet includes hundreds of dresses in a variety of colors, patterns and styles (size 0-24), but appointments must be made in advance.

To schedule an appointment, email [email protected]

For more information, visit sparklenetwork.org.

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