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High school students around the Treasure Valley get dressed for prom thanks to Cinderella's Closet

This year, the non-profit has more than 500 dresses and suits available for students to rent out for prom season.

BOISE, Idaho — Hundreds of high school students in Ada County were able to get dressed for less for their proms thanks to a non-profit founded by a group of Borah High School moms.

Cinderella's Closet helps ease the financial burdens on families of high school students during prom season by allowing students to rent tuxedos and dresses for $15 each.

Cinderella's Closet was founded 19 years ago in Boise and after two years, it grew so much that the moms who founded it, reached out to the community for help. Another non-profit and volunteer organization, Assistance League of Boise, stepped in and took over 14 years ago.

This year, they have more than 500 dresses and 150 suits available for students to rent out.

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Dresses that were available ranged from sparkling and dazzling to the beaded and rustic. This is far from the typical pop-up prom shop.

All of Cinderella's Closet's inventory is donated from the community, then they rent those dresses and suits out to Ada County high school students for $15.

"It's such a special time in your life and money shouldn't be a hindrance to be able to go and have a special night," Daphne McNeal, the co-chair of Cinderella's Closet, said.

Being able to save money for prom is something that both parents and students appreciate.

"When we see their faces when they come in, in their sweats and they're not standing up straight and then we find them a great dress or tux, you can see it in their faces," McNeal said. 

"The guys especially, are like 'Wow I look good' so that's fun," Charmaine Cates, the chair of Cinderella's Closet, said.

One of the girls that enjoyed getting a dress was Marissa Nelson, a junior at Meridian High School.

"I expected it to be a lot harder, but it was actually really easy to find a dress I liked," she said.

Nelson is just one of the hundreds of girls who will found their dream dress through the Closet.

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"I kind of lit up and my mom even said it and then all of the girls in the room were like 'that's so pretty' and it made me feel good about myself," Nelson said.

However, these fairy godmothers are not just helping girls get dressed for prom, they also have hundreds of suits for men.

Martin is a Boise High School exchange student from France and said this is the most American thing he's done. He was able to find a tuxedo at Cinderella's Closet on Saturday.

"We don't do proms in France," he said. "I felt good because I didn't know I was gonna look good like this because I'm not used to being dressed up like this."

Getting dressed for prom is something that both the students, parents, and volunteers all enjoy doing.

"My favorite part is that any teenager can come in here with their student ID and walk out just feeling like a million bucks and they didn't have to go into debt to do it," Mcneal said. 

Last year, Cinderella's Closet rented more than 225 dresses and 100 tuxes. It is open until April 27, from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Cinderella's Closet is always looking for donations. If you'd like to donate a suit or prom dress, you can do so by dropping it off at the Assistance League of Boise, just north on Glenwood Street and Chinden Boulevard.