INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – While the Pacers are away in Orlando, sequins and chiffon took over the floor of Bankers Life Fieldhouse as almost 500 high school girls were on the hunt for the perfect prom dress.
It’s part of a prom dress giveaway orchestrated by Pacers forward David West’s wife, Lesley.
“Prom was a very important time in my life when I was younger,” said Lesley. “It was something we looked forward to all year long. It can be anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for these people, and they literally cannot afford it.”
That’s where Lesley comes in. She collects dress donations from around the area throughout the year. The Wests, along with others in the Pacers organization, also buy some gowns to meet the demand. While this is the second year of the Prom Dress Drive in Indianapolis, West has been putting it on for more than a decade in New Orleans while David was with the Pacers.
“It’s confidence boosting,” said Lesley. “It’s more than just coming to get a dress. These girls come in here, and they feel better about themselves. They feel beautiful.”
“They always have perfect dresses,” said Mayra Llamas, a senior at George Washington Community High School. “It’s a great opportunity because a lot of people don’t really get this, and if you take advantage of this, it’s just really helping you out.”
In addition to the dress, the girls came away with goodie bags along with hair and makeup tips. Lesley also hopes they leave with a desire to give back as well.
“When you’re finished with that dress, think about who else you can bless with it,” said Lesley. “Maybe someone out of these 500 people, they don’t have to have an event like this, but if they give their dress to one other person, it keeps it going.”