Woman creating Cinderella moments for local prom-goers

'They feel like a princess for the day'

They say life's not a fairy tale, but maybe fairy godmothers exist. Jennifer Calcagni isn't turning pumpkins into carriages, but she's creating Cinderella moments.

"You receive a personal shopper for 45 minutes. You have a time slotted for you to find your perfect dress," said Calcagni, the organizer.

Dream dresses at unbeatable prices, and they're all free. It's part of the the third annual Belle of the Ball charity event.

"The first year that we started this we said, 'Let's open this up to the girls of Berks County and see how it goes'," said Calcagni. 

The charity wants girls to feel confident and excited about the dance, but not have to worry about the cost.

"They feel like a princess for the day," said Calcagni.

This year, girls need to set up an appointment online before the big giveaway at Stokesay Castle in Lower Alsace Township on March 13.

"I understand that it costs a lot of money to go to prom," said Calcagni.

Volunteers collect dresses at all National Cleaners and Yorgey's Fine Cleaning locations in Berks County or at the Wyomissing Restaurant & Bakery on Penn Avenue in Wyomissing.

"It's just an overwhelming feeling I get from the girls so every year. I just try to make it better and bigger than the year before," Calcagni said.

This year, more than 60 girls signed up. Already, the nonprofit's helped 300 dreams come true.

Dress donations are still being accepted. If you take your donation to the Wyomissing Restaurant & Bakery, you'll receive a dozen free doughnuts or a loaf of Challah bread.

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