Woman's mission to outfit underprivileged teens in free prom dresses

- Prom season is a few months away, but for some girls, the search for that perfect dress is already on.

Prom can be out of reach for some as costs pile up and the event can get too expensive.

One East Bay woman has made it her mission to help underprivileged teens enjoy that special night.
 
Inside the Antioch Business Center, way in the back of a donated office space, Tamra Loomis is setting up for her annual prom dress giveaway with accessories to match. 
 
"I want girls to be able to go to their senior ball or their junior prom and other dances that they're going to and feel amazing," says Loomis.
  
This will be the seventh year Loomis is giving free dresses to underprivileged teens in a project called ‘EastBay DressDay’. 

"I was the same girl in the same situation.  I had to borrow a dress from my aunt," says Loomis.

She showed photos of some of the girls she's helped. She estimates she's provided dresses for 500 girls from all over the Bay Area, but says she hasn't forgotten the feeling of wearing a borrowed dress that wasn't suited for her.

"It's supposed to be something you remember and how magical it was.  How amazing you look.  You have the perfect dress and it just accentuated you.  I just didn't feel like that," says Loomis. 

16-year-old Katrina Lane of Oakley will be receiving a free prom dress from Loomis.

Loomis has a photo of Lane last year when she received her first dress from the program for a special dance.
 
"When we found out about this, it was the greatest thing for me because it was my dream to go to prom," says Lane. 
 
Her father says he's grateful too, raising six children is expensive.

"It really takes the burden off the parent. You want to please your child. You want to give them the ability to go to prom.  But sometimes, the cost just adds up," says Michael Lane. 

Loomis says she has plenty of dresses to offer in a variety of colors and sizes.

"Don't feel bad about it.  Don't feel like we're not sure we qualify.  I'm not going to turn anybody away," says Loomis. 
  
The EastBay DressDay giveaway takes place this Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 12. 
 

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