JCA students donate dresses for prom

Norgren, Pasieka organize JCA effort to help charity’s cause

JCA's Courtney Norgren (left) and Marin Pasieka organized an effort to donate prom dresses to the Glass Slipper Project. (Photo by Bill Scheibe)

JOLIET – The Glass Slipper Project, a non-profit organization founded in Chicago, has been around since 1999. The intent is to give away hundreds of prom dresses and accessories every spring to high school students.

This spring, for the first time, Joliet Catholic Academy juniors Courtney Norgren and Marin Pasieka coordinated a sizable donation to the Glass Slipper Project. According to a study authored by the USA Today, prom costs for the 2011-12 school year were estimated at slightly over $1,000 per couple.

And besides that?

“Everyone deserves to go to prom,” Pasieka said.

“And everyone,” Norgren said, “deserves to look pretty.”

Norgren’s mother Leslie suggested the pair of JCA girls look into the Glass Slipper Project. Norgren and Pasieka noted it operates like a boutique, with personal shoppers helping needy students prep for prom.

But the highlight for Norgren and Pasieka was watching JCA students, faculty and staff donate prom dresses to the worthy cause – an example of how the JCA community mobilizes for the good of others.

“Our job was to collect gently used prom dresses and you bring them to a pickup location,” Norgren said. “My mom explained it to me and we thought it would be a good idea to get as many as we could.”

“It was cool to see everyone bringing in dresses,” Pasieka said. “And it wasn’t  only our fellow students. A bunch of the staff brought in dresses, and it was nice to look through all of them and to see them.”

In the end, Norgren and Pasieka were able to gather 60-plus dresses to be donated. Norgren, who also attended prom, understood how beneficial the project is for such a special event in a teenager’s life.

“When you’re facing a charge of over $200 a dress, that’s pretty substantial,” Norgren said. “I did go to prom, so I know what it costs, and I think everyone should be able to go, even if they can’t afford it.”

“It was nice that we got so many dresses,” Pasieka pointed out. “When we dropped them off, they were so impressed. You don’t get to know the girls who benefit, but it does make you feel good knowing that you contributed to making someone’s life easier and they got to be happy. It was totally worth it.”

Time. Talent. Energy. Norgren and Pasieka lived the message and the rewards were immeasurable.

“It’s the first time that we did this, but I’m definitely looking forward to doing it again with Courtney next year,” Pasieka said. “And really, it wasn’t that hard of a thing to do. We felt great about doing it.”

“At JCA, we have that community feeling and it was nice to see everyone contributing what they had,” Norgren said. “If they weren’t going to use their dresses again, they were happy to help us out.”

— Bill Scheibe, Director of Communications

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