Local organization helps give students positive memories, confidence

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FULTON - Dreams came true Saturday for the high school students who stopped by a local organization's event to ensure they have the perfect prom. 

Cinderella's Closet of Mid-Missouri hosted its first Dresses to Dreams event for high schoolers who are unable to afford their own dress for prom. 

"It's so much more than just the dresses," coordinator Lori Baumgartner said. 

Baumgartner got the idea from another Cinderella's Closet in Kentucky and had a lot of help from friends at her church. 

"You tell people the mission, and they all just kind of jump on board," she said. 

That mission, she said, is more than just helping them find the perfect prom dress. Baumgartner said she struggled with confidence in her youth and hopes students will leave feeling better in their own skin. 

"I did not want a teenage girl to have to go through that and so this is a way to give them some confidence, so they know they are cherished as an individual," she said. 

Volunteers served as "fairy godmothers" to guide the students throughout the process and help them pick the perfect dress.

The organization collected over 500 dresses from the students to choose from, as well as shoes and accessories. Volunteers also did hair and makeup for the girls and helped with alterations.

"Being able to walk out in a dress to where I feel like a movie star is absolutely amazing," student Hannah Travis said. 

Baumgartner said she hopes the number of students the organization helps next year will quadruple.

Anyone interested in volunteering or donating next year can contact Cinderella’s Closet of Mid-Missouri.