Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo program pays for prom


Brooke Shimasaki, Feature Editor

Prom is an unforgettable experience, not necessarily because of the dinner or dancing or the beautiful dress, but because of the gaping hole left in one’s bank account afterwards. According to a 2015 survey by Visa Inc., the average prom-goer in America forked over $919, including everything from attire, limo rental, prom bids, flowers and pictures.

Although prom is an extremely fun and memorable night, many students face concern in the months leading up to prom as they try to find ways to finance their magical night.

Senior Brooke Gushea, who works part time at the Creamery diner, found the perfect dress for prom but when she discovered that it cost almost $400, she worked hard to pay for it.

“I asked my boss if I could work more hours to make money to pay for my dress,” Gushea said. “Last year, I didn’t have a job so I had to borrow someone’s prom dress but this year, it felt good to be able to pay for my own dress.”

It is often difficult to find ways to pay for prom expenses in a short amount of time, especially when students don’t have jobs or financial support from their parents.

Fortunately, the Stockton-based Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo non-profit organization provides “prom scholarships” to some of the most deserving students in the area by working with school counselors and teachers. Students are provided with attire (dresses and tuxedos), salon appointments and dinner. This year, BBB reached students in the 14 high schools in the Stockton area, including Bear Creek, Lincoln, McNair, and Edison.

The community comes together to help provide students of limited financial means with the full prom experience. The Academy of Cosmetology graciously pampers girls with salon make-overs, including hair, makeup, and manicures and pedicures. Additionally, girls attend the annual dress Adoption Day, where they can choose from hundreds of donated dresses. For the boys, Formal Connection provides prom-goers with professionally fitted, high-quality tuxedos. Also, Papapavlo’s, a Mediterranean restaurant in Lincoln Center, provides boys with a dinner-for-two for a delicious meal on prom night.

Sophomore Catherine Anaya and her date, senior Rydell Donato, both took part in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo program. Anaya got her hair, makeup and nails done the day of prom. Additionally, she found an elegant velvet dress that was fitting for the Roaring ’20s Great Gatsby themed prom. Donato was fitted for a burgundy vest and black tuxedo, which complemented Anaya’s attire.

“I felt very lucky because [the organization] really helped me out financially since I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford the dress,” Anaya said. “I am very fortunate to have been a part of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.”