What an honor it was to take part in the 5th Annual Prom Drive at Mora Salon in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.I set up a balloon garland at the event where about 800 dresses were lined up on rolling carts throughout the salon. All were donated either from boutiques or private donations. Lavish dresses, jewelry, bags and shoes filled the trendy salon.
The owner, Wanda Mora, hosts the event each prom season. High school girls who otherwise can't afford a $500 dress, because that's what they go for these days, can pick out a gown, try it on, and "Say YES to a prom dress!" Mora said she could not go to her prom. She could not afford a dress. Hosting a prom drive at her thriving salon is way to give back, and give these girls something she never had.This event tugs at my heart strings. I remember dress shopping at Nordstrom as a teen and falling in love with a Nicole Miller mint green dress. $600 was the price tag. I could see my mom really wanted to get it for me but that was way beyond the prom budget. I never forgot the feeling being in the store and not able to get the prom dress I wanted.
My dad who sewed assured me he could make it. We went to fabric row in Philly and picked out the material. I remember being so hung up on the color, it "HAD to be mint Dad! Not chartreuse, not pastel green, but mint." The dress 👗 was stunning.
Looking back, the time spent making my prom dress from scratch with my dad was more valuable than any $600 dress could have provided. And that's what these girls got thanks to Mora. An experience with their moms picking out their favorite dress. An afternoon they will never forget.
It doesn't matter if you're buying a high end boutique dress, making one yourself, or picking out a donated dress, it's the prom experience that is ever lasting: dress, jewelry, hand bag etc.. memories in the making.Wanda Mora is the quintessential business owner, operating a thriving salon in Cherry Hill but never forgetting her roots and humble beginnings. Her big heart is felt exponentially. These girls are going to look gorgeous and have an amazing prom experience.
In the words of Maya Angelou, I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Parties On Wheels (PoW 💥)
Natalie Illiano is a mom of two toddlers, wife to Italian chef 👨🏻🍳 Gennaro, and journalist turn party planner.