Dozens of girls in heels and borrowed prom dresses walked a makeshift runway Sunday to raise funds for Daybreak Youth Services, an organization that, among other things, hosts dances for patients staying at the center and will soon offer free dresses and tuxedos to any teenagers who might not be able to afford evening wear.
During the show, local high school volunteers modeled about 40 of The Royal Closet’s 200 donated gowns and performed a choreographed dance to accompany the final number in the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.”
Aislinn Lautenbach, a communications intern for Daybreak, said The Royal Closet program, which was started by Spring Goode, will soon become a part of the Daybreak Youth Services’s Life Enrichment Program. Under the program, teens in inpatient treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues get a chance to play sports, ride horses and hike as well as other activities.
“It allows them to pursue things outside the facility and show them that being sober is fun,” she said.
Kirsten Fuchs, development assistant at Daybreak, said the organization lost a significant number of gowns last summer when a person broke into the Daybreak offices and vandalized them by spraying them with a fire extinguisher. A few of the gowns were recovered after Thompson’s Laundry Co. donated its alteration and dry-cleaning services and the dresses appeared in Sunday’s fashion show.
Fuchs said the resulting public attention led to enough donations that they were able to completely replenish their supply of dresses, and they also received toiletry donations for girls staying in the facility.
“It was not great,” she said. “But good came of it.”
Most of the teenagers participating in Sunday’s fashion show were students at local high schools and just had a few hours of training before taking the runway and participating in a choreographed dance. Camdyn Larson, who modeled alongside a few members of her cheer squad from University High School, said she has always been able to buy a prom dress for high school dances, but she hoped volunteering for The Royal Closet might help out teens who may not be able to afford it.
“I think every girl should have a chance to feel beautiful,” she said.
A few tables at the fashion show, which was held at the CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley, were reserved for girls living in the Daybreak facility.
Other volunteers at the fashion show included the regional Miss America winners: Miss Spokane Jordan Snyder and Miss Spokane’s Outstanding Teen Tiffany Abrams. Both participated in the event.
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