Punta Gorda business makes prom dreams come true for teens in need

Writer: Camila Pereira
Published: Updated:

Prom: it’s one of the most special nights in a girl’s life. One business wants to make sure every girl is able to get their dream dress.

A night high school seniors have dreamt about ever since they were little girls. One where they’ve imagined themselves wearing that sparkly dress and matching heels to dance the night away.

But those dresses and suits can all be expensive.

So, a Punta Gorda business, Anytime Fashion, is on a mission to help teens in need live out the prom night of their dreams.

And the inspiration came to Shalonda Davis as she remembered her very own special night as a high school senior.

“Thinking about my prom when I was growing up, which, my parents, they pretty much did the best that they could and got whatever I wanted,” Shalonda said, owner of Anytime Fashion. “They went out, and they got it for me. But you know, some chains and things are hard. And they were working people too. But I know that everybody wasn’t as fortunate as I was.”

That’s when Shalonda and her husband took it upon themselves to start a prom dress giveaway, collecting all kinds of prom dresses to give to local teens just in time for the main event.

“We did it last year,” said Shalonda. “But I will admit that it didn’t go quite the way that we planned because we opened up, and then not too long after we opened up, sickness sort of hit the house. And so, my husband was still in the hospital. So, we were able to help youth but not as many youths as we could because I had to schedule the giveaway in between hospital visits.”

But that didn’t stop the Davis’ from at least helping 20 families make their dreams possible. And this year, it’s only grown.

“Right now, we have 153 dresses, 2 pant suits, a few shoes, and some pursues,” Shalonda said as she pointed to the rack behind her.

All of which were donated from within the community.

Dresses donated by the community for Anytime Fashion’s Prom Dress Giveaway (CREDIT: WINK News).

Racks are full of dresses in every color, style, length, and size because, at the end of the day, it’s all to make sure every teenage boy and girl gets to go to their prom feeling confident and living out the prom night of their dreams.

This giveaway is something the Davis’ worked to make happen, between their jobs and health scares, because to them, there is no better feeling than seeing the teens in their dresses, ready for their prom night.

“The smiles…I just needed to see one smile,” said Shalonda. “That’s all we need, was with the one smile. And like I said, last year, we didn’t get to do as much as we wanted to. But it was at least one. So, it wasn’t about the numbers. It was about our heart.”

While they’ve already collected so many dresses, Shalonda said she hopes the giving doesn’t stop anytime soon.

She asks if anyone still wants to donate dresses, suits, shoes, accessories and even their own beauty and dry-cleaning services. They welcome it with open arms.

Anytime Fashion planned to hold the prom dress giveaway on Saturday, but because of permitting issues the event will now be held on April 6.

Shalonda said they will still be accepting donations even after the giveaway day as they plan to continue giving away dresses beyond the weekend.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.