Regional staff want all 2014 grads to be 'Dressed to the Nines'
At St. Paul Regional High School, two members of the school’s staff are working extra hard to make sure everyone can be “dressed to the nines” and enjoy their high school graduation this spring.
Instructional assistants Angele Theroux and Tina Robinson have spearheaded a clothing collection program called Dressed to the Nines. The program is meant to gather formal dresses and suits for students who are unable to afford the often-expensive clothing.
“It’s for the students who grad can be a financial hardship for,” says Theroux, adding, “A couple of grads came to us and said they couldn’t participate this year in things like graduation . . . because they couldn’t afford to buy something nice to wear. That’s how it started.”
Theroux says that she and Robinson went to the school’s administration and asked for a response on their idea to start a clothing drive for students who needed the support.
“Once we got permission, it took a life of its own,” said Robinson.
Dressed to the Nines immediately became popular, with 10 dresses being donated the day after Theroux and Robinson posted requests for dresses and suits on social media.
“We put it on Facebook at 10 p.m. on the evening we got permission to do it,” said Theroux. “The next morning, we already had people donating dresses. Next to New called, and they told us to take whatever we needed, with shoes included.”
In addition to Next to New’s assistance, Classic Cleaners offered to give a discount on dry cleaning and pressing, and a local photographer donated a session for graduation day.
Theroux said as of Nov. 25, the program had collected 30 dresses, with 10 to 15 more on their way.
“We’re looking for more dresses if possible, as well as dress shoes, suits, shirts, and ties.”
Theroux admits she was surprised by the support offered by the community.
“We were taken aback by the support and generosity shown by the school and the community. When you start something like this, it extends out. Friends tell friends, who invite friends. Right now we’ve got dresses coming from as far away as Edmonton and BC. We weren’t sure how it would be received, but the community support is unreal.”
Robinson added, “That’s St. Paul for you.”
For more information on the program call Theroux or Robinson at St. Paul Regional High School at (780) 645-4491.