By LaShaina Blair-White 
BELLEVILLE – The fifth annual Prom Project campaign  is making it possible for more students to feel elegant on their special night.
Students from Grades 8 to 12 are offered gently-used formal wear for prom and other special events. The clothes are donated by the community and other students.
The campaign is hosted by The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation . Eight secondary schools in the Quinte region will be collecting the formal wear.
Executive director Maribeth deSnoo says without the project, some students wouldn’t attend their school events.
“So really and truly (the clothes are) going to students who otherwise most likely wouldn’t attend because they didn’t have something to wear,” she says.
The impact on the students, deSnoo says, is remarkable. “It’s really great that I had an opportunity to attend one of the events. A young lady tried on a dress and came out to show us and looked in the full-length mirror and she said, ‘I didn’t know I could look this beautiful.’ It was so touching for all of us. It just reaffirmed why prom project is so important. That’s a story I will always carry with me. ”
This year the goal is to receive up to 1,200 pieces of formal wear. More stores in the Quinte Mall  are participating, some of which are sponsoring a grand prize for one student and a friend to receive a full makeover and a limo ride to their special event.
“There are a lot of students that are in need and that should have the opportunity to go to prom,” says Matt Higgs, marketing director of Quinte Mall. Higgs says the mall is greatly involved in the campaign as it is used as a drop-off point for the formal wear.
The campaign runs until March 24 and so far organizers say it has received over 30 gowns and suits.