[The project to collect and give away prom dresses free of charge to area students is underway by CHIP IN Batavia, which stands for Community Helpers Impacting People In Need. Also welcome are monetary donations for tuxedo rental and prom tickets.]
She said monetary donations to the project help with tuxedo rentals and the cost of of prom tickets for Batavia kids. Some donations also assist with the rental of graduation gowns.
The project sometimes draws carloads of youth from Mooseheart, and Spitz notes that girls with more than one dance coming up can pick out a second dress.
Gowns last year went to students from Batavia, Mooseheart, St. Charles, Geneva, Elgin, Aurora, Yorkville, Rosary and Jacobs high schools and North Central College.
Co-chairing the project with Spitz are CHIP IN Batavia co-founder Melinda Kintz, who is executive director of Batavia United Way, and Ashley Murtaugh, treasurer of the Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence Board.
Spitz said CHIP IN was created five years ago.
"It's been quite a ride," she said, noting she and Kintz never anticipated the depth of support from the community that developed. "We literally thought we were going to buy a few pairs of jeans, socks and school supplies. It's been amazing."
They expect to offer more than 200 prom dresses this year, along with accessories, all available free of charge to any girl from any school district, regardless of need. For more information, contact chipinbatavia.org, Facebook.com/ChipInBatavia or firstname.lastname@example.org.