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Jeffco teens find new to them prom attire at Prom Swap

This is the first year the Arvada and Standley Lake libraries hosted the event


Airyn Stone, 16, sifted through the racks of prom dresses March 31 at the Arvada Library. Her mother and younger sister helped her pull dresses in her size that fit her style.

“This dress spoke to me,” Stone said after choosing a strapless dress in the purple color family. “I tried on so many dresses but I like this one because it's a really pretty color.”

Stone is one of many area teens who turned to the Jefferson County Library Prom swap to her get prom dress instead of a retail store. She donated five cans of food in exchange for a new dress.

This is the first year the Arvada Library has been a prom swap location.

“I didn't know what to expect, but luckily Arvada came though,” said Tana Lucero, teen librarian at Arvada.

Before the Saturday afternoon event, over 130 dresses of all sizes, styles and colors had been donated by the community. More dresses were donated during the event.

The Jeffco Libraries Prom Swap started a number of years ago at the Belmar Library when a librarian was talking with a teenage library goer and learned that some students and families cannot afford expensive prom attire.

“One of the roles at the library is to be a community resource and we wanted to provide this service for our teens,” said Arra Katona, teen services coordinator for Jeffco Libraries.

This now Jefferson County tradition takes donated dresses, tuxedos/suits, shoes and accessories and makes them available who donate a dress themselves or canned goods — five cans per dress or tuxedo/suit; two for shoes; one per accessory.

This year, library officials wanted to bring the event to the northern part of the county — thus the Arvada and Standley Lake library events were created.

“We watched them do it at Belmar and decided we should do something up north here,” Lucero said. “There's a lot of need for it. Eventually, it will probably go system-wide because there is a need throughout the county.”

The dresses that were not chosen by teens at the Arvada event will travel to Belmar and then Stadley Lake libraries for their events April 7 and 8 respectively.

Donations still left over from those events will be split and donated to both the Arvada High School Prom Closet and Florence Crittenton High School in Denver, one of the largest and most complete providers of services for pregnant and parenting teens in the state of Colorado.

Canned donations in Arvada will benefit Community Table, formerly known as the Arvada Community Food Bank. Food donations at Belmar will benefit the Jeffco Action Center, which provides immediate response to basic human needs and promote pathways to self-sufficiency for Jefferson County residents and the homeless.


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