Prom is right around the corner for high schoolers all over the SouthCoast.  The event is nothing short of a rite of passage in American culture. The problem is, for a lot of local kids, the prom is a pretty expensive proposition. Between the cost of prom tickets, suit and tie, shoes, dress and flowers, the total cost can sometimes approach $1,000 or more.

While the cost is undeniably high (especially with inflation this year), a group of students at BMC Durfee High School in Fall River decided to do something about it. Sophomores Darwin Herrera and Bruno Lobo, and junior Malianet Berrios-Valcarcel have worked to flip a small room at the school into a formal and professional closet for students.

Fall River Public Schools via Facebook
Fall River Public Schools via Facebook

The students have collected more than 120 prom dresses, available to anyone in need. A selection of suits, ties and shoes also are available.

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According to a release from Durfee, the students got some major contributions from local dress stores such as Alexandra's Boutique and Carmen Fashions. Each of the stores donated dresses worth hundreds of dollars, "tags still on them."  Slade Formal Wear is offering $55 discounts on suit rentals, and some local salons and barber shops will cut and style hair at little to no cost leading up to prom.

The Durfee formal closet is expected to stay open year-round for students in need of business attire for DECA or Skills USA competitions. It's collecting dress shirts for men, gowns and other professional clothing.

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