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Mount Vernon High School to Host 'Princess for a Night'

Event provides free prom dresses and accessories to area students.

Girls from across Northern Virginia will choose the perfect prom dress at “Princess for a Night” May 19 and May 21 at Mount Vernon High School.

The program is in its 10th year of operation, said Mount Vernon High School social worker Katie Basinski, who coordinates the program and oversees donation efforts for four different schools, including West Potomac High School. The program serves between 325 and 350 girls each year.

Basinski said she enjoys coordinating the program, which she called a “universal recycling effort.”

“Every woman has things in her closet she doesn’t need anymore,” explained Basinski. “It’s an opportunity for people to go through their closets and give away things they don’t need. On the other hand, I think it’s crazy to spend a ton of money on this event when you can get ton of new items without spending a fortune.”

Basinski relies on a staff of 10 to 12 volunteers to help organize nearly 500 dresses by size, set them up on racks, staff the event and help store dresses for the following year.

Helping girls pick out their dream dress is the most rewarding part of the event, Basinski said.

“It’s a wonderful event,” she said. “Seeing the girls with their final selection is great.”

The program relies on community donations of the following items: new or gently used dry-cleaned formal dresses, shoes, handbags, jewelry, unused make-up (for example, sample cosmetics) and “nice” shopping bags.

Donations are being accepted at the following collection sites until Friday:

  • , 7770 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22306. From 4:45 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday.
  • Hitched Bridal Couture and Creative Planning Salon, 1523 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20007. Between noon and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday.
  • , Main Office (Entrance #1), 6500 Quander Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22307. Between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • , Main Office, 3330 King Street, Alexandria, VA  22302. Between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you would like to volunteer for “Princess for a Night,” please contact Basinski at 703-619-3304 or kabasinski@fcps.edu.

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