Prom season is in full swing, but for many students, the event that is often considered a pinnacle in the high school experience isn’t a reality due to financial setbacks. A Detroit-based boxing gym is paying it forward by providing underserved teenage girls with prom dresses so they won’t have to miss out on that special moment, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The SuperBad Fitness boxing gym—which is owned by professional boxer Tony Harrison—collected over 50 dresses to give away to students in need who are preparing for their upcoming proms and graduations. Those who operate the gym transformed one of the facility’s rooms into a mock boutique where teens have been coming in to choose from a collection of new and gently-used dresses that were donated locally and from individuals across the country. The teens were also able to choose items from a collection of jewelry, handbags, and shoes to complete their looks.
Aware of how costly prom can be, Harrison and his team wanted to host the prom dress drive to ease the financial issues that many students in the local community are dealing with. “It lifts a financial burden. We want to help other girls. Prom can cost so much,” said DeArra Henderson, who is leading the community outreach for the initiative.
Harrison, who took home the World Boxing Council’s super welterweight title last year, has continually used his gym as an avenue to give back to his community. The gym has a tutoring center that serves nearly 50 kids each day. “He’s like a parent to each and every one of these kids,” his girlfriend Jasmine Bradley, who oversees the gym’s tutoring center, said in a statement. “And that’s why they love him so much. They feel it. They want to be better than him. They want to be like him. He’s probably the most selfless person I know. “We are trying to reach out to the kids in the neighborhood, and try to show them something different than what is being shown on the regular.”