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Newark HS room transformed into home for new, gently used prom dresses for students

With the June 1st Junior Prom at Club 86 in Geneva a little more than three weeks away, Newark High School ISS Room teacher assistant and Reds Threads Coordinator Sue Yatteau kind of knows what it feels like to be Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother.

She’s collecting new and gently used, long and short, teen- style prom dresses to give away to students who need them and will officially unveil her collection displayed in the “little shop” in the corner of Room 177 classroom beginning May 13th. The dresses range in size “from o to 24.” Yatteau’s donated collection also features some dress shoes, ranging from size 6 to 9 1/2 and jewelry.

While the unveiling of the prom collection is still a few days away, Yatteau has already given one lovely dress away to a girl who told her she wasn’t going to the prom because she couldn’t afford to buy a dress and pay the $65 admission ticket.

“She put on one of the dresses and it looked just beautiful,” Yatteau sighed happily. “It was like it was made for her.”

Reds Thread’s used clothing exchange nook at the end of the school hallway where the English classrooms are located, Yatteau likes having students try the prom dresses on in the privacy of the restroom and then look at them in a mirror in the classroom so they will know for certain that they fit and if they really like the way they look on them.

With the ongoing great success of Red Threads that was started by her daughter Cheyenne when she was a junior in 2016, Yatteau took over as coordinator in the 2017-2018 school year. She quickly recognized the need for fancy dresses for the high school’s Winter Snow Ball and Spring Junior Prom and urged students, staff and others to donate new and gently used attire appropriate for the occasions .

“Last year I collected and gave out 19 dresses. I received a lot of good comments. The kids really appreciated it. This year, so far, I have about 30 long and short dresses. They are beautiful. Several of them still have the tags on them. I would love to have more donated so I have more to give out,” she said.

Yatteau said students and staff may bring prom-related items to her classroom and people from the community that would like to donate current new and gently used prom dresses, shoes and jewelry should drop them off at the front desk in the NHS foyer.

To get the word out, Yatteau said she’s used her Facebook page, Twitter and the school’s televised morning announcements.

She is hoping that the prom items giveaways will become as popular as Reds Threads.

“Last week during Senior Capstone presentations I took four boys to Reds Threads and when they presented their projects they were all in dress pants and dress shirts. I know the students really appreciate this and it’s nice to see the entire community getting involved,’’ Yatteau said.

Red Threads items that “don’t move” are put in the yellow clothing donation boxes in the village. All items are changed seasonally.

Wishing she could devote more time to these voluntary endeavors, Yatteau is grateful for the “gaggle of girls” who earn Capstone community service hours by helping keep the Reds Threads nook organized and tidy as time allows.

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