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Ensuring a monumental school year for all

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Back-to-school season is sneaking up on students everywhere, and although the bell hasn’t rung on that pivotal first day, there is an amazing committee working on making sure the end of the year is monumental for everyone.

Gowns for Grads is a volunteer-driven event that focuses on ensuring female high school graduates have what they need to enjoy their special day. The program was initiated by a local high school in 2009 after it was realized that some young women were not attending their graduation because they did not have a gown to wear.

The Winnipeg School division joined the initiative a few years later, and over the last two years The Laura Milner White Committee has organized the hugely successful event.

The Laura Milner White Committee was established in Laura’s memory by her friends and family. Laura believed education was the key to success for all children and could break the cycle of poverty. These kinds of events will carry on her vision by supporting projects for children to improve educational opportunities and address issues of economic disadvantage.

This event is open to any female high school graduate. There is no select neighbourhood, or address. Age or final grades are not important. This initiative is focused on creating an opportunity for those who may not have been able to purchase a dress or the accessories and services to go along with the big day.

For years, students have finished homework, worked hard on projects and day to day assignments, and at the end of it all the hope is to have everyone enjoy the celebration.

Graduates will be picking out a dress of their choice along with some accessories over a few days in April 2014. The committee is currently seeking donations for gowns, evening bags, shoes and accessories.

The demand increases each and every year as more awareness is brought to the program, and this year along with regular gown donations, there is an increased demand for plus-size dresses. If you are interested in donating a gown to this amazing event, you can drop off your donation at any Perth’s Dry Cleaners before the end of August, or LoLa Boutique at 11-2090 Corydon Ave.

For graduates who may be interested in receiving a dress from the program, you are encouraged to meet with your schools guidance counsellor, who will have detailed information on how to register.

More information is available on the Gowns for Grads Winnipeg Facebook Page or you can e-mail laurascommittee@gmail.com

Travis Mitchell is a community correspondent for Charleswood. Comments and story ideas can be sent to him at news@travismitchell.ca.

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