Greek Closet to provide attire for Kelloggsville prom

By Rachel Huck | 4/13/16 11:57pm

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GVL / Kasey Garvelink - Kmystry Taylor-Jackson fills out a sheet saying which cloting items she donated to keep track of inventory at the Greek Closet event on Apr. 12, 2016 in Allendale.

by Kasey Garvelink / Grand Valley Lanthorn

For some high school students, attending prom means dropping hundreds of dollars on a dress or suit, a pair of shoes, accessories and a hair appointment. This does not take into account the cost of the event itself. Ultimately, the price of prom is simply outside of many students’ budgets, and all for attire that might only be worn for a single night.

To help Kelloggsville High School students experience prom in full attire, the Greek community at Grand Valley State University started the Greek Closet with a goal to collect gently used formal clothing and accessories for those on a tight budget.

Kasey Garvelink

GVL / Kasey Garvelink - Multiple pieces of clothing were brought for the Greek Closet event on Apr. 12, 2016 in Allendale.

Malayna Hasmanis, president of the Panhellenic Council at GVSU, said the Greek community is eager to ease part of the financial burden that comes along with prom. According to Hasmanis, more than 70 percent of students at Kelloggsville Public Schools, located in Grand Rapids, are below the poverty line.

“Over 70 percent of their students are below the poverty line, so we really wanted to alleviate the stress of trying to get nice clothing for their prom by providing nicely used dresses and suits for them to have,” Hasmanis said.

On April 12, all participating GVSU students who donated formal wear to the cause were treated to a meal catered by Papa John’s Pizza Co.

Hasmanis said more than 30 people attended the event to donate clothing on behalf of their Greek chapters and councils. The donation drive took place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. located in the Kirkhof Center's lounge.

“Many people also came out to just hang out and get to know one another, which really promoted this means of Greek unity,” she said.

In addition, the drive was accompanied by a Greek unity event sponsored by Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, Panhellenic Council and National Panhellenic Council. For the future, the Greek community is aiming to make the Greek Closet a GVSU tradition and reach a larger population of local schools.

“Although this was the first year we have done something like this, we are hopeful that we can make it a tradition each year,” Hasmanis said. “Maybe even making it so we could serve multiple schools through pursuing this as well.”

In addition to the drive, she said the event featured free music, games, entertainment and socialization, all for an important cause.

“We are alleviating the financial stressors that may come about for these students, in order to strive towards allowing them to have a night to remember forever,” Hasmanis said. “(It's) something that every student deserves.”

For information on upcoming Greek events and fundraisers, visit www.gvsu.edu/studentlife.  

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