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Project Prom winner Danielle Trotta celebrates with family, friends and the winning dress

Danielle Trotta, 17, an 11th grade student Seaford

Danielle Trotta, 17, an 11th grade student Seaford High School, is shown at The Carltun in East Meadow on the night of senior prom. (June 20, 2013) Credit: Chris Ware

When 3,000 people choose your prom dress, you gotta listen.

Project Prom winner Danielle Trotta did, and even though the floral Alex + Eve gown from Alight in Plainview that Newsday readers picked wasn't the one that initially caught her eye, she exuded confidence as she posed for pictures on the sun-soaked patio of The Carltun in Eisenhower Park Thursday night.

"I love the way it fits," she said of the flowing number, a palette of blues and greens complimented by her golden eye shadow and fiery tresses done expertly by Maximus Salon and Spa in Westbury. "I can't wait to dance in it."

It's been a tough few years for the Seaford High School junior, who lost her beloved dad in 2008 and had her home destroyed by superstorm Sandy.

"I've never seen her happier," her mom, Kathy, said on the big night. "My husband would be beaming. I know he's here with us tonight."

Both male and female friends gathered around the belle of the ball to gush over how she looked, but most of all they spoke of her vibrant personality.

"She always knows how to have a good time and put a smile on your face," said longtime pal Jess Rini, 17.

Neighbor Desire Fowlkes, 17, spoke of her contagious smile and loud laugh.

Danielle's date, Tom Simonetti, 18, was suited up in turquoise accents from Gino's Fashion Tuxes in Farmingdale — which matched both Danielle and the cast on his right arm. ("It's a long story," he says.)

By the time the group photo shoot was over, the friends were ready to hit the dance floor. But how will she top this for her senior prom next June?

"Knowing her, she'll find a way," her sister, Katie, 24, said with a smile.  

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