Our 14 Project Prom girls have been many things — Disney princess wannabes, great athletes, brainy nerds, dramatic types, soldiers, quintuplets even — there’s really no set criteria for picking a special girl each year.
Something just resonates. And this time, it was a mother’s note.
“My beautiful daughter, Felicity Joy Masone, pulled up in a taxicab at two weeks old,” wrote Margaret Masone, 58, of Port Jefferson Station. “She had been abandoned at birth in Queens,” the beautifully written letter continued, noting that the child had “numerous health issues.” But, wait, this is anything but a sad story. Today, Felicity, 17 is perfectly healthy, a terrific student at Comsewogue High School, a talented musician who plays guitar and sings at church every week, a hard worker in a local grocery store. And when she graduates this year, she plans to study in college to be a speech therapist. And not to be superficial, but . . . oh, those dimples.
As for being abandoned, or for that matter, ever left alone, fear not. Felicity is the fifth of the 10 who make up the boisterous Masone brood — four are “homemade” as Margaret Masone calls the children she gave birth to, and six are adopted. Masone says she’s always felt there was something special about Felicity. Masone recalls that when the health care worker handed the baby, named Michelle at the hospital, to her on the front stoop of her house “I looked into her face and she smiled up at me and I immediately said, ‘This is Felicity, Felicity Joy.’ ”
The name is a perfect choice, according to many. “Felicity’s friendly, she’s outgoing, she has energy, she’s a little ball of fire,” says Donna Slanina, the customer service manager at Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace in Port Jefferson, where Felicity has worked for a year and a half. “She’s just a shining star,” says Slanina.
“You could not have made a better choice for Project Prom,” says Ann Clyde, Felicity’s high school guidance counselor. “She is an empathetic, loving human being. She is humble and gracious and a little bit of a mama hen, always listening and very caring, ” says Clyde, who actually gave Felicity her own guitar. “I wanted to find someone who would be a good steward of it — it’s a beautiful guitar that was just collecting dust, and I knew in my gut she was the right person.”
Newsday and company got a taste of Felicity’s guitar work during our four-hour shopping session, as we looked for the perfect prom dress at Estelle’s Dressy Dresses, the sequin-filled temple for everything prom in Farmingdale. She took a few moments out of perusing the racks to sing a little ditty she wrote about Project Prom that began with, “When my mom, got the call about prom, I was so h-a-p-py . . . ” Needless to say, it was a hit with us. Felicity called her Estelle’s day “magical” after finding three dresses she’d happily wear to the big night, taking place at the Water Mill Inn in Smithtown on June 21.
But even better, she says, was her photo shoot at the Newsday studios, where a dream team of stylists from nuBest Salon and Spa gave Felicity the ultimate glam makeover. When all was said and done, “Felicity was on cloud 10,” said her mom. “I honestly felt like a princess getting the royal treatment,” said Felicity. “It was even better than I thought it would be and the highlight of my senior year, which is kind of stressful.”
Well, dress stress has been eliminated. Except for you readers, since it’s up to you to pick the gown we’ll buy for her prom. Please go to newsday.com/projectprom to vote!
Hair and makeup
Mervat Girgis and Jessica DeRosa, nuBest Salon and Spa, Manhasset
Samantha Brown, Samantha Brown Style
Gowns, jewelry, bags and shoes
Estelle’s Dressy Dresses, Farmingdale