SAN BENITO — If a girl is going to the ball, she’s probably in need of a dress.
Veterans Memorial Academy is gearing up for its 4th annual Quinceanera Ball, an event that celebrates a girl’s 15th birthday and marks her first steps into adulthood.
The event began as a way to help young girls unable to afford their own quinceanera, to dress up and celebrate their birthdays.
Girls signing up for the event are provided free makeovers and dresses.
And an event like this requires a lot of dresses.
According to Community in Schools site coordinator Irma Galvan, the number of girls signed up for this year’s ball is nearly double last year.
And she is working to help find each girl her perfect dress.
“I have too many this year,” Galvan said. “I have to start getting them fitted early.”
More than 60 girls are currently signed up to take part in the Quinceanera Ball in May, a number Galvan expects to increase as the year progresses.
“I know more girls are going to come and sign up once they start seeing the decorations,” Galvan said. “It is going to be a struggle.”
Currently, there are 40 quinceanera dresses and 60 prom dresses available for the girls to use.
Galvan said the girls prefer using the quinceanera dresses for the ball because the pouf is more traditional for the dance than the average prom dress.
“Usually they want the bigger dresses, the poufy dresses,” Galvan said.
At least five girls a day are fitted for their dresses.
Galvan brings out a few that might be in the girl’s size and the girls are fitted before picking out a tiara to go along with the dress.
Galvan said one of the biggest struggles is finding dresses that fit the girls.
“If they don’t have anything but they want to go, we try to find the best dresses for them,” Galvan said. “The girls are so humble and they’re so excited.”
Once the dresses are chosen, they are dry cleaned and are set aside for the big day.
The school is accepting donations of dresses and petticoats.
Galvan said if people are unable to drop off dresses at the school, she would be willing to pick the dresses up.
Dress donations can be dropped off at Veterans Memorial Academy or call 956-276-6063.