- Associated Press - Saturday, January 30, 2016

NEPTUNE, N.J. (AP) - Dozens of high school students donned elegant evening gowns and tuxedos on Friday night in hopes of giving other New Jersey teens the opportunity to go to their proms.

During the last nine years, Cinderella’s Closet of Monmouth County has helped provide thousands of underprivileged New Jersey high school students with everything they need for their proms, including dresses and tuxedos, accessories, shoes and makeup tips for the students in advance of their big night, NJ.com reported (http://bit.ly/1ZZSbq7).

On Friday night, hundreds of people attended Cinderella’s Closet’s annual fashion show, which is its biggest fundraiser, at Jumping Brook Country Club.

Usually the models at the fashion show wear designs from area businesses and designers, but this year was different.

“We had a lot of great donations from our sponsors this year and we had such a beautiful inventory, so we decided to use the dresses we have and what the girls will be offered at the boutique,” said Mary Pat Serhaus, a Cinderella’s Closet board member.

The 501(c) (3) organization was started by two high school girls - Stephanie Tomasetta and Katie Adams - as a chance to give their less fortunate peers an opportunity to enjoy prom night in spite of their families’ economic challenges.

This year the charity hopes to help 350 high students from throughout New Jersey at its annual prom boutique event, which will be held on Saturday, March 19 at Long Branch High School.

“There is unfortunately always a need for what we do, because prom is very expensive,” Serhaus said. “If you starting adding up the prom bid, the prom dress, the bag, the shoes and everything else, a lot of students couldn’t do all of this unless we help them out.”

In addition to high school students modeling the kinds of designer fashions that the teens Cinderella’s Closet helps will choose from at the boutique event in March, outfits designed by area high school students were also featured and judged by a panel of fashion experts.

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Information from: NJ Advance Media.

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