RUMFORD — Prom season is fast approaching and the Prom Connection is preparing to help students in need find proper attire at no cost.

Kathy Boothby, vice president of the Rumford Eagles Auxiliary, said, “It’s a rite of passage for students to be able to go to prom. And if they don’t have the money to buy the things they need to go to prom, they can’t go. And therefore, they’re left out. And I don’t want to see them left out.”

The third annual Prom Connection will set up from March 27-29 at the Function Hall at the Rumford Eagles 1248, 129 Rumford Ave. Set-up is Wednesday, March 27, with doors open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 28 and 29. People can help by showing up in person to set up, to assist, or to pack up.

“We have over 200 assorted dresses in various sizes and colors,” Boothby said. “Some are short, some are gowns and others are retro style. We are always accepting dresses and accessories, but we are really looking for men’s dress shirts, suits and sports coats.”

She said the program has benefited Mountain Valley and Dirigo high schools. Students at Telstar High School in Bethel have also been invited.

“Last year, we helped around eight students, some of whom were from the middle school,” said Boothby, who only asks that the students who benefit from this help in some way. “They can either help us set up, break it down, or find some other way to pay it forward. My dream would be, at some point, kids would start doing a clothing drive for the winter for younger kids. I would like to see them doing something in the community to help.”

As well as the clothes and accessories, Boothby said they also need full-length mirrors so the students can see how they look. Needed are heavy-duty hangers, a steamer to make the clothes look good and dress bags to pack them away, year after year.

Boothby said they have paid for the racks to be made and are having more made. She hopes to acquire large-size rings to put on the racks. She said the community has been very good about donating. They have some accessories, such as shoes with matching hand bags. They also have some ties, which she picked up recently from the Hope Association.

The Woman’s Literary Union in Auburn continues to assist this program. Most of the 200 dresses are from the union. “When they’re done with their function, they share with me and a group in Bridgton,” Boothby said. “I’m trying to get the three of us together to work together, pass dresses around so we’re not showing the same dresses every year.”

To get involved with the Prom Connection, contact Boothby at 207-418-0254.

[email protected]

The Prom Connection is preparing to help students in need find clothes for the upcoming prom. Seen with one of the racks at the Rumford Eagles are Scott Holman and Kathy Boothby. (Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin)

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