Countless pieces of jewelry and shoes, along with 75 formal dresses, were given away this month at Hahnville High School when Best Life Nutrition and Hahnville High School’s Recognize a Queen group organized a prom boutique to help students in need experience a fun and fashionable prom experience.
Marquita George, a mental health professional who works at HHS, said the idea to start the boutique came from knowing that over the last few years many local families have experienced financial hardships due to COVID and Hurricane Ida. She started the Recognize a Queen group at HHS – a group comprised of minority females at the school.
“The event was absolutely amazing and well exceeded our expectations,” George said of the dress boutique. “The amount of smiles and appreciation expressed by the students was truly overwhelming to the point where I had to fight back tears throughout the event. Mrs. Jody Denton and myself would just stop and give each other a smile or a hug to take it all in together. Joy, laughter, and support filled the room during the HHS dress boutique launch and I feel in my heart that next year will be even better. This is what giving back is supposed to feel like and I am honored to have been a part of such a special event.”
The event began to take shape when Denton reached out to George a couple of months ago about the idea of giving back. George brought the idea to Recognize a Queen, and that’s when the idea took off.
“I really allowed the girls in the group to plan it and they came up with the idea for it to become a boutique,” George said. “It happened so fast.”
Over 200 dresses were collected from the community for the event – which was offered to HHS juniors and seniors. Eight students were awarded raffle gifts and gift cards from local businesses at the boutique, and George said Brenda Clesi of Creations by Brenda reached out to her and agreed to donate her time to those students who may need alterations.
Alison Anderson, a HHS junior, said she was able to get formal dresses at the boutique for a few events that she has coming up.
“I have a lot of formal events like band performances coming up and I just want to look nice,” she said. “We don’t have the money to go to a fancy store to find something that I really like, but I was able to find things that I really like here. I was surprised to see so much.”