By Nolan P. Smith
(Hesperia)—Prom season will be here before you know it. But with the grandeur and memories associated with prom comes the cost, including the all-important prom dress. For many, the cost of a dress can be that roadblock that keeps them from attending. Luckily, Rena’s Dresses is here to help.
Rena’s Dresses is a non-profit organization that serves the various high schools in the High Desert community. The organization provides formal wear to senior girls who could not otherwise afford to attend their senior prom. With the communities support, they are able to provide free, gently used and sometimes new formal dresses to students who would like to attend their respective proms. Students must be referred to their program though the help of their school, foster agency, or community organization.
Hesperia High School’s Tammy Aguilera, who works in the counseling office at the school, is one of the volunteers associated with the organization. During the month of February, people can bring donations to Hesperia High School directly to Tammy, or to Diane Rodriguez at Oak Hills High School. Now, how did this organization come to be?
“Rena’s Dresses was founded in 2012 in honor of two very special girls that were unable to attend Prom,” said Aguilera. “After the passing of the founders newborn daughter, and the sudden death of her husband’s 17 year old sister Nancy, Diley Greiser decided to use the tragedy to bring joy into the lives of local high school seniors throughout the High Desert. These tragedies are what inspired the name Rena’s, the combination of Reanna, Re- and Nancy, Na — Rena’s.”
The organization was formed as a way to honor both Reanna and Nancy by providing formal dresses to girls who do not have the financial means to afford the high costs associated with prom. A one of a kind prom boutique is held in March, and created for students who are referred to Rena’s Dresses by their school, social worker or community organization. Each young lady is given the opportunity to enter the Boutique and shop with her very own assigned personal stylist for the perfect dress as well as accessories, all for free.
“The people in our community are always willing to help our youth in whatever positive way they can,” said Aguilera in regards to the importance of the organization here in the High Desert. “We want our youth to be able to participate in life’s special moments, and our community has played a big role. Our participants are encouraged to carry out a random act of kindness in return just as their community has done for them.”
All donations are tax deductible, but the organization can always use more than formal wear. Moving trucks on the day of the event, tuxedo discounts or vouchers for male students, are all welcomed, as are monetary donations.
So far, Rena’s Dresses has helped over 500 seniors in the past three years alone. Last year, they gave out over $2500 worth of scholarships to participants who entered our scholarship contest as well.
For more information, visit Rena’s Dresses website at www.renasdresses.org, or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Renas-Dresses/269163319767769.
I would like to nominate Aryanna Padilla, a 10th grader from B.H.S. in Barstow, CA. To the best of my knowledge she hasn’t been invited yet (which is a requirement for 10th graders). Well, I hope that helps.