When identical twin sisters Takira and Talicia Peppe of Riverhead High School couldn’t afford to buy dresses for their senior prom on June 21, they went to their guidance counselor for help.
That’s when they found out about the annual prom dress drive at the Hampton Bays Public Library, where Long Islanders had donated hundreds of outfits and accessories for families struggling to pay for the prom. The drive is currently being held through May 11.
“That drive really helped a whole lot. I could have never afforded dresses,” said Crystal Peppe, the girls’ mother, who said she was recently laid off from her job. “We were struggling just to pay for their tickets.”
Talicia,17, picked out a pink dress with rhinestones and a Cinderella-style flared bottom, while Takira picked out a burgundy ball gown with lace when they went to the Hampton Bays Library in April.
“As far as hair and nails and limos go, we’re not gonna go all extravagant, but we’ll do what we can to make sure their day is special,” Crystal Peppe said.
Next year, Takira plans to attend Five Towns College to study acting, while Talicia will finish her studies in early childhood education at Eastern Suffolk BOCES. And now that they don’t have to worry about finding the perfect dress, they can get ready to celebrate their final days in high school with their friends.
“I think it’s a good thing. It’s really helpful for people who need something like that,” Takira said of the giveaway. “I’ve been to plenty of dances before, but it’s your last year.”
Other libraries throughout Suffolk are also collecting donations for the drive. Those looking to donate can find out more information by calling Vicky Urbelis, coordinator of the drive and head of Teen Services at Hampton Bays Library at 631-728-6241, ext. 121.