The "Why"

The Ruby Room was bustling, dresses flying in and out of the fitting rooms, the sound of hangers being passed from the racks for the thousands of dresses that fill the boutique. Then it happened, she came out emerging from the fitting room with the perfect dress, the perfect fit and a smile on her face knowing this, was the one. Courtney, a high school senior, stepped in front of the mirror and stunned the room. The ooh’s and ahhs from nearby clients and volunteers brought excitement to the air. There stood Courtney’s mom, next to her in the mirror, with extreme adoration for her daughter. As I looked on, Courtney’s mom turned to me placing her hand on my shoulder, drawing her head near as tears filled her eyes. “Thank you for what you do here,” said her mom,  “This means so much.”  I returned the embrace and felt her weight in sadness. I assured her that she was in the right place to let out a good cry. Only a few months prior, she received a diagnosis of stage four cancer. The jolting news of this harsh diagnosis rocked her world placing enormous uncertainty on their future and finances. Buying a dress for prom was not in the cards. The Ruby Room formal wear program reduces the financial burden for families by 60% - 70% of the overall cost of prom.

A single mom of two girls, there are still things to do and dreams to share with her daughters. That day, they came to the Ruby Room determined to fulfill a very specific goal of seeing Courtney go to prom. It was this very moment their dream was beginning to come true. Goosebumps filled my body and the sting of tears pierced my eyes. What an honor to witness the making of memories of a lifetime and support a mother and daughter who now exactly how precious these moments are. As she takes on the fight of her life, she will sit with some comfort knowing they received the support needed to achieve the milestones every parent dreams for their child.