Fairy godmothers descend upon Border City

By Kassidy Christensen

March 28, 2017 12:00 AM

The Cinderella Project has launched in Lloydminster for girls and their families who may be experiencing financial pressure around graduation expenses.
The project provides selected soon-to-be graduating girls the full gamut of a dress, shoes, hair, makeup, corsage certificate, nail appointment and photography to celebrate their accomplishment of graduating high school that may not be able to financially accommodate the right of passage.
Katie Theiss, project coordinator with the Cinderella Project, said the project got started in the Border City because they saw a need to help local girls with grad expenses.
“We just want to help girls’ dreams come true,” Theiss said, adding this is the first time the project has run in Lloydminster and has previously run in other cities.
Theiss is part of a Cinderella Project team through My Victory Church Lloydminster that is out in the community collecting donated dresses, beauty services and monetary donations. 
Theiss said her and her team want to recognize that graduating is a big accomplishment and they want to honour the chosen girls by giving them the full experience.
“We want to try and remove some of the financial pressures that families might be feeling at this time of year, especially around grad … and give them the full meal deal so they don’t have to worry about anything,” she said.
Theiss explained graduation expenses could start at a minimum of $1,000, but could go up to $2,000 or $3,000.
“Depending on how crazy you want to get, but even a base dress you’re looking at about $500 and then plus all the services, so (for example), $100 hair, $100 makeup, you’re looking at over $1,000 per girl,” Theiss said.
Anyone is welcome to apply for the Cinderella Project, Theiss said, and an interview process will determine the final recipients.
“We want to specifically alleviate financial pressures from families that might be experiencing hard times so we do an interview with each of our candidates and just select them based on need,” she said.
To date, a handful of interviews have been conducted, Theiss said, and has found the stories they are hearing inspiring.
“It’s just really neat to hear some of their stories and know that we can help them out.”
The Cinderella Project 2017 culminates with an event on April 22 where the selected girls will get the chance to pick out their dress by appointment and receive a package with all other provided services.
“We’re providing just little treats and makeup demos and hair demos that day for them as well so that they really feel special,” Theiss said.
Anyone looking to donate a dress, services or funds to the Cinderella Project, or for more information, can contact lloydminster@myvictory.ca or call 780-205-9105.
“We’re taking dresses, grad dresses and bridesmaids dresses, if (people) would like to donate them, or we can take monetary donations if there’s something that we don’t get we can use it towards that.
“Or services, nail tech, hairdressers, anyone in the beauty industry can donate their services, gift certificates, things like that,” Theiss said.
The deadline to donate to and apply for this year’s project is April 15, but Theiss said donations will be accepted at any time of year and be put towards the next available project.
“We want to be accommodating, so if there are dress donations that come in anytime throughout the year, we’ll still take them and store them and use them for next year’s project,” Theiss said.
Theiss said they want to collect as many as possible and raise awareness of the project within the community so the Cinderella Project can become an annual event.
“We’re also looking at adding a Tux Shop next year for the guys,” she said.
Theiss said her and her team have such a heart for the youth and honours the hard work they are putting in.
“I just am really passionate about seeing youth go and graduate and be able to make something of their life, so this is one way we can sort of help with that.”

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