Prom season is on the horizon, meaning bank accounts the county over will be hemorrhaging in the name of shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup, tuxes, limos, dinners, and the evening’s biggest expense: the perfect prom dress. According to a 2013 Visa survey, the nationwide average of prom night expenses lands at a whopping $1,139. It’s no wonder some households have trouble meeting the financial expectations of the evening.
In the name of helping young girls realize their prom night dreams, Jada Paul, the wife of Clippers phenom Chris Paul (aka CP3), is hosting her fourth annual prom dress giveaway on Saturday, March 28 at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles. The event, presented by the Chris Paul foundation, will provide 100 preselected senior girls from various L.A.-area schools with dresses, shoes, and jewelry suitable for the big night. In the event’s inaugural year, Paul headed to the Fashion District to buy dresses on her own dime; this year, the gowns have been donated by BCBGMaxAzria and Windsor, a response that has been overwhelming for Paul. “There have been so many sponsors; so many people offering to donate dresses,” she told us. “People are becoming aware. It makes me feel good, like I’m doing the right thing.” The event will also feature a fashion show by the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team, gift bags, and makeup demonstrations. In addition, Hollywood trainer and motivational speaker Jeanette Jenkins will be on hand to talk to the girls about health, fitness, and body image.
Having been the prom queen at her own high school (she wore a dress from David’s Bridal), it’s Paul’s hope that no girl misses the magic of her senior prom due to a monetary hurdle. More than providing a dress, though, she hopes to convey a stronger message that extends beyond prom night. “My goal is to teach girls to be themselves,” she says. “Be beautiful, feel beautiful, be you.”