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COLUMBIA - Some Special Olympics athletes are ready for prom after choosing their perfect dress from more than 100 that were donated.

Dannie Coates, the Special Olympics coordinator, created the event.

“A lot of our athletes don’t have a very big income, so finding, like, a nice prom dress isn’t really in their budget or they are not able to do that," she said. "So, I figured if other people are and they have them and they're sitting in the basement, give them to someone who could use it.” 

She said many of the athletes are older and living in homes.

"They don’t really have an opportunity like this to come and be spoiled and have the opportunity to look and pick out dresses,” Coates said.

She said she couldn’t believe so many dresses were donated.

“To put this on for them, they are going to be so excited. And that's what makes me so happy, because I know they are going to be so happy,” Coates said.

One athlete said she enjoyed saying yes to her dress.

“I feel pretty,” Alisa Aganovic said.

Another athlete said she can’t wait to wear her dress for the prom.

“ I look forward for the party. I can’t wait to see my friends and everybody there” Ruth Cook said.

Coates said the evening will be special.

“Night To Shine is going to be even better for them because they can find a dress that they love and don't have to worry about a budget because all of this is free,” she said.

Coates said she hopes to add a selection for male athletes next year.

Night To Shine will be take place on Feb. 9 from 7-9 p.m at Compass Church.