A program run through Lindsay Thurber High School is making sure all students are able to attend their graduation and enjoy their achievements.
The Cinderella Project is an organization within Lindsay Thurber High School that supports grads who would not be able to participate in the full grad experience due to unfortunate circumstances. This is the third year the program has been run.
“We started it because we heard of kids choosing not to go to their own grad because they couldn’t afford a dress and they didn’t want to feel like they stood out that way,” said Cyndi Ramsfield, office manager at Lindsay Thurber High School. “We just can’t imagine a student not being able to go to their grad so this is how the program was developed.”
Over the past three years, The Cinderella Project has had support, but Ramsfield is hoping to bolster that.
“We do run into the issue at times of sizing. We sometimes have limited sizes so we are looking for more of a variety,” she said. “But last year we were so lucky and had a lady who owned a bridal store in Castor who called us and said her store was overflowing and she wanted to donate some dresses to us. We went out there and she was amazing. She gave us 16 dresses and that was so incredible.”
Students go through a screening process to make sure they need the assistance of The Cinderella Project and then get the chance to pick out their grad attire.
“We tell the students that it is their dress. If they choose to donate it back, perfect, but I don’t want them to go to grad being uneasy about spilling something on the dress,” said Ramsfield. “The students are so excited when they find something. For most of them, they probably didn’t plan to go to grad, so they come and choose a dress and feel like a princess. It makes us feel good that’s for sure. It’s definitely a feel good thing.”
Last year the program helped eight girls with dresses and three young men with tux rentals. They also had support to purchase their banquet tickets.
Meanwhile, Ramsfield said she would like to see The Cinderella Project grow and include other schools in the district.
“We have students here who are in need of this program and I’m sure other schools do too, so our goal is to have this program big enough where we can open this up to the other schools in our area as well.”
Ramsfield said donations from the public are welcome, but anything that will be accepted must be a relatively new style.
“The girls aren’t going to wear it if it’s more than four years old or so,” she said.
Cash donations are also accepted to help students purchase banquet tickets.
For more information or to donate contact Cyndi Ramsfield at 403-314-2003 or Joanne Oddie-Flikkema at 403-347-1171.