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updated: 4/23/2014 6:12 PM

Batavia charity has prom dresses for girls in need

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The volunteers from CHIP IN Batavia and the Zano Salon and Spa in Batavia will be fairy godmothers to teenagers who want to attend the high school proms this year, but can't afford the fancy duds to do so.

Now all they need are the Cinderellas to outfit.

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There are 60 donated dresses waiting for girls, but so far CHIP IN has only found five girls to help, said Joanne Spitz, co-founder of Community Helpers Impacting People In Need.

The dresses "are as pretty, I think, as you find if you walked in to Nordstrom's," Spitz said. Some still have their price tags attached, she said.

People, including customers of other Zano salons, also donated jewelry, purses and $200, which will be used to help the girls buy other items to complete their outfits, Spitz said.

Although CHIP IN is designed to help Batavia public school students, for the dress giveaway it has expanded it to neighboring school districts, Spitz said.

Some of the short dresses are being offered to girls who attend Rotolo Middle School, which has an eighth-grade dressy dinner coming up.

Zano Salon is also offering to style hair and makeup for the recipients who will attend Batavia's prom.

And Men's Wearhouse has donated tuxedos to three boys, and is offering a 50 percent discount to others CHIP IN sends to them, Spitz said. CHIP IN will pay the remainder of the cost.

Spitz noted that prom tickets are expensive; Batavia's are $125 per person. But tickets are discounted for students who are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches, she said.

Spitz and Melinda Kintz, both of Batavia, organized CHIP IN last year, after hearing about the number of homeless students in the Batavia public school district. It started out just helping homeless students, but has expanded its mission to include low-income students.

The group works with individuals, clubs, churches and other organizations to provide the items students need, large and small, to be successful in school. Aid has included clothes, school supplies, snacks for teachers to keep on hand, clothing, shoes, furniture for when families get a home, and assistance with car repairs. It also organizes volunteers for after-school programs at Batavia Apartments, a complex that offers federally subsidized housing.

If you know of someone who could use a prom dress, contact CHIP IN at info@chipinbatavia.org.

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