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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sharon & Kelly Stone

donate prom dresses to Boca High

A group of South Florida high school girls received some fancy duds
for the prom thanks to actress Sharon Stone and her sister.

Nicol Jenkins

Boca Raton , Fla.
"I probably wouldn't have gone to the prom. Senior year is really expensive with all the activities, and I can't do a lot of them," said Cruz, a senior at Boca Raton Community High School.

However, Cruz and many other students at Boca Raton High School are now able to attend the prom in style - thanks to a famous benefactor.

Hollywood actress Sharon Stone and her sister, Kelly Stone, donated more than 100 designer dresses to Boca High this past week through the charity, Planet Hope.

Boca High ESE teacher Elyce Singer called her close friend Kelly Stone when she found out that many of her students were low-income seniors and weren't going to attend the prom because they didn't have a dress.

"There's no reason why the girls shouldn't feel good. If I can give them a happy night, then why not," Singer said. "Senior year is so special. They really should have a new dress. You want the kids to remember their senior year."

Kelly Stone immediately responded.

"My sister and I got on the phone to BCBG and other designers and we got about 100 dresses for the prom," Kelly Stone said. "I know what it's like to grow up without money. We didn't have money growing up. And I know the peer pressure that goes along with it. I want them to have a prom or graduation dress like everybody else."

Stone and her sister started Planet Hope in 1993 to help others in need. The organization offers free medical and dental care, clothing for children, field trips for homeless and abused children and counseling and image makeovers for homeless women and women who have been victims of domestic violence.

Stone said it feels good to help others.

"It's wonderful to know that 100 or some girls can go to prom with dignity. I only wish I was there to see the children in their dresses," she said.

As Singer received the shipment of brand new designer dresses, some exceeding $2,000, she set up a dressing room on campus. Two closets were filled with long flowing gowns, including dresses from BCBG. The dresses went to low-income seniors who are on free and reduced lunch. Teachers and administrators recommended students and then those students told friends. The teens could choose a dress for prom and graduation, Singer said.

"The girls were so happy. They've been coming in every period and now they bring their friends," Singer said. "I want them to feel good about themselves and be happy to go to prom and graduation. If this makes them feel good, then I'm happy."

Cruz was ecstatic when she found a black gown for prom and an electric blue BCBG graduation dress.

"This is really a big help. I think it's awesome that they gave us these dresses. I was so happy. I wanted to cry," Cruz said.

Classmate Widlaine Batteau also found a prom and graduation dress.

"It's really nice that they're helping us out because a lot of people don't have help or someone to give us stuff," Batteau said.




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