MANITOULIN—The Beauty and the Beats initiative is back again this year, with new and/or gently used formal dresses and accessories for Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) students wishing to attend this year’s prom.

The program opened its doors again to MSS students last Wednesday during the lunch hour with a ‘boutique’ set up in Dawn Noble’s classroom, D5.

“We heard about a similar program in Sudbury, ‘All Dressed Up,’ and wanted to start something locally,” explained one of the organizers, Kristin Bickell. “The program was really successful last year with over 30 free dresses chosen by MSS students, along with shoes and accessories, to wear to prom. We even had girls trade in old dresses from past formals, which is pretty cool.”

The dresses are all donated by various sources and dry cleaned so that they are ready to be worn.

“Prom comes with a high expense,” noted Ms. Bickell. “We hope that through Beauty and the Beats, we can reach out to young ladies and help make everyone’s prom special.”

Beauty-and-beats“I think it is a good opportunity for our kids and saves a lot of money,” said Ms. Noble. “Beauty and the Beats is open to everyone. It is a great way to reuse and repurpose too.”

“People go to a lot of expense for prom,” added MSS Principal Laurie Zahnow. “This provides an opportunity to everyone to look great and feel great.”

Ms. Bickell told The Expositor that the donation response this year has been incredible, with Islanders collecting dresses and accessories through their work.

“We even have people from Manitoulin, who now live off-Island, collecting for the cause,” she said. “We just got a large box of shoes and dresses from someone in Toronto.”

Anyone looking for more information or to donate can contact Dawn Noble or Kristin Bickell through the Beauty and the Beats Boutique Facebook page. Ms. Bickell can also be contacted at 705-348-1402.