By Gretchen Pahia
Photo Courtesy of Paradise Valley Education Association

High schools in the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools) are getting ready for prom season. Knowing that this milestone occasion can add a financial burden on students and their families, the Paradise Valley Education Association (PVEA) is partnering with the community to open the Prom Boutique back up so that students can attend the annual soiree without breaking the bank.

Leah Knaeble is the Dean of Students for Desert Shadows and Explorer Middle Schools. She is also a member of the PVEA and says the group is trying to fill a void that is needed in the community by re-establishing this successful event.

“We are collecting gently used items to give to our students for prom,” she explains. “We always have a great need for men’s items such as suits, shoes, socks, and other formal wear. We are always looking for formal dresses in sizes 14 to 24 but we accept all sizes for dresses, shoes, makeup samples, clutch purses, and more.”

Donations are also welcome for hair styling, nail salon, and restaurant gift certificates. These are also a great way to help students enjoy one of the most memorable evenings of their young lives.

The prom boutique event has been on hold the last couple of years due to the pandemic but now the PVEA is doing all they can to ensure the students have a good time and everyone who would like to attend prom is able to do so, despite economic situations.

The community is encouraged to donate needed items to the boutique. Then, PVSchools students that would like to visit the shop can select a full prom outfit of his or her choice for free.

The PVEA will hold three different Prom Boutique events throughout the month of April and all PVSchools high school students are invited to attend. The events are all being held at Sweetwater Community School, located at 4215 E. Andora Drive in Phoenix. Student IDs and face masks are required to attend.

The boutique events will be held on these dates:
• Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Tuesday, April 19, 4-7 p.m.
• Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

If anyone in the community would like to donate any items that can be used to fill up the boutique, they are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Donations can be dropped off at the PVSchools’ District Administrative Center, located at 15002 N. 32nd Street, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. To learn more, e-mail [email protected].