Dreams Delivered offers free dresses in all sizes, 0-24, along with all of the trimmings for a glamorous senior prom evening ensemble.Photo by Roots of Life Photography – Tara Wickey

This spring marks the 10th year that the Woman’s Club of Evanston will have made dreams come true for Evanston Township High School girls. Senior girls will again have the chance to shop for prom dresses, shoes, purses, jewelry, wraps and make-up – all of the trappings and trimmings of a glamorous evening ensemble and all free of charge. Hundreds of new and gently used dresses and sparkly accessories have been donated and purchased for the upcoming Prom Boutique where girls can shop for entire outfits.  

Dreams Delivered, the name of the Woman’s Club project, has served more than 550 ETHS students since it was launched and expects to provide prom attire for about another 100 girls this year.

“Last year, about 25% of the girls who attended prom wore gowns they selected from Dreams Delivered,” said Rachel Hershinow, owner of the artsy Stella Boutique on Central Street and chair of the project.  

“Girls who sign up will have the opportunity to come to one of our Boutique Nights to shop,” said Ms. Hershinow. “I love Dreams Delivered because it eliminates the financial burden of this milestone high school event where every girl wants to look and feel her best. And we’re excited because this year all of the girls who come to one of the shopping nights will also get their hair and make-up done free by Tricoci University of Beauty Culture.”

Ms. Hershinow said that on April 10, 11 and 12, the Woman’s Club of Evanston will be transformed into a shimmering showroom of prom merchandise. “There will be personal shoppers to assist the girls in picking a dress; and when the girls each choose a dress they like, there will even be seamstresses on hand to make small alterations. And of course, the girls get to keep the clothing and jewelry and unopened make-up items.” There will be dresses in all sizes – including sizes 0-24 – and all of the gowns will have been professionally dry cleaned, courtesy of Kenny the Kleener.   

Dreams Delivered is truly an Evanston community project, and planning for this year’s event has been going on for months.  Collection boxes accepting donations have been at the following Evanston locations since Feb. 15, thanks to the work of young women from the local Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority on Northwestern’s campus:  

 Stella Boutique, 2116 Central St.; Soapie’s, 1231 Chicago Ave.; Jacklin K. Salon, 2510 Gross Point Road; Evanston Athletic Club, 1723 Benson Ave.; First Northern Credit Union, 1705 Sherman Ave.; Second Baptist Church, 1717 Benson Ave.; iKandi Hair Studio, 1705 Central St.; and Studio SLK, 1934 Maple St.

In addition to the Woman’s Club and local businesses, the initiative is supported by the Ivy Pearl Foundation Inc., as well as the very active Dreams Delivered Advisory Board at ETHS. Tanya Jenkins, an Evanston police officer and the community liaison to the Dreams Delivered project at the high school, called the initiative “truly amazing.”

“The team of girls on the Advisory Board are going all out to make the project’s goals happen,” said Officer Jenkins.  “The girls basically advertise the remarkable Boutique Nights that take place at the Woman’s Club, and they do it by organizing a full-scale fashion show in the school cafeteria to preview the shopping nights. This year the fashion show will be on March 14, with music, a runway, and girls – and even a few guys – modeling Senior Prom attire.

The Advisory Board also advertises the grand Boutique give-away nights by decorating ETHS’s heavily traversed H-Hall (recently re-named Heritage Hall), by creating take-home student flyers about Dreams Delivered, and by producing a video of the fashion show to be shown during the spring Senior Assembly.

Together, hundreds of volunteers and donors are helping ETHS senior girls make precious memories of the May Senior Prom event. People or organizations wishing to make clothing, accessory, or monetary donations after March 15 are encouraged to drop them at the Woman’s Club, 1702 Chicago Ave., or contact Rachel Hershinow at Rachel@Stellaevanston.com.

Judy Chiss

Judy Chiss has been a feature writer at the RoundTable since 2007 and especially enjoys writing about interesting happenings in the schools, as well as how our local not-for-profits impact the community....