Ralston gown rental shop providing 100 free prom dresses to Omaha Public Schools students

A Ralston business is donating prom dresses to OPS students who qualify.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 6:51 PM CDT
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RALSTON, Neb. (WOWT) - Prom dresses aren’t cheap, as most high schoolers and their parents know.

But this year, 100 girls from Omaha Public Schools could get theirs free of charge.

“It’s breathtaking because when you see them, those eyes light up,” said Terri Smeija of Cinderella’s Formal Gown Rental in Ralston. “That right dress on their body...and they look good in all sizes, from the zero to the 32. So it’s not one girl left out.”

Thanks to a private donation, Smeija is giving out free dresses to OPS students who qualify.

“This year it’s been a bit tougher than it has been. You see the malls have been more empty. We’re even slower in our season,” she said. “But you still have to give. You still have to help your fellow woman to look her best and not stress over that expense.”

Those who receive free or reduced lunches can get a certificate from their counselor to redeem at the store. Holders can then call the store to set up an appointment, or go during the shop’s walk-in hours.

“After the first hundred, I told the counselors don’t hesitate if you need more from me, let’s do it,” Smeija said.

Smeija says while the focus this year is on OPS, the state’s largest district, she’s open to offering this for those who qualify for free or reduced lunch in other districts.