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Maple Grove Voice

The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes Hosts Project Prom Dress Collection, Distribution

Mar 12, 2018 05:30AM ● By Wendy Erlien

In 2010, when Project Prom came to Minnesota, it had a mere 179 dresses. Last year’s event offered more than 1,000 gowns in all colors, styles and sizes for teens in need. (photo provided by Project Prom)

Last year, nearly 200 young women from more than 60 high schools throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin found a free prom dress at Project Prom

For the last 11 years, the nonprofit gave away new and gently used dresses to local teenagers during the two-day distribution event. 

“Project Prom started will the mission of helping make prom dreams come true for girls in need. Year after year, it’s incredible to watch the community rally behind this program and support local youth,” Project Prom founder Jeni Asaba said. “We’re so grateful to everyone who donates. You may not see it, but you’re changing lives.”

For 2018, The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove will be hosting the distribution in an empty storefront on March 17 and 18. During the event, each attending teen is greeted by a volunteer who helps her “shop” for her perfect dress. Once she finds her dream gown, she takes it home – free.

Teens interested participating can book an appointment online here:

“We are so pleased to partner with Project Prom again this year! Every girl should have the opportunity to attend prom in an amazing gown,” The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes Property Marketing Manager Jennie Zafft said. 

The event is open to any girl who is attending prom and would benefit from a free dress. 
In 2017, the project had around 1,000 dresses for girls to choose from. While most of dresses are donated from community members, local businesses also support Project Prom with donations of new dresses and other goods and services such as dry cleaning vouchers, salon gift cards, and more. 

Project Prom, a 501(c)(3), operates entirely on donations. Organizations or individuals who are interested in donating money, goods or services can visit for more information or email

How organizations and individuals can help:

• Donate Dresses: Project Prom relies entirely donations, most of which come directly from
members of the community. Through March 14, donations can be dropped off at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes Guest Services Office (across from the parking ramp) from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Other drop off locations can be found at

• Donate goods or services: Gift certificates for hair/nail services, dry cleaning, alterations, etc.

• Monetary donations: 100% of the donations are used to help sustain the program.

 “The biggest single expense for prom is the dress,” Asaba said. “But it doesn’t have to be. Our event helps alleviate that cost in an effort to make prom more affordable for all teens who want to attend.”

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