Operation Prom Girl 2017 Kickoff Unveils Visions of Wonderland

We held our 2017 Kickoff for our volunteers and interested community members on October 20 at Wellness and More in Murrieta. We gathered for the support and pre- planning of our event which will take place, tentatively, on April 8, 2017.

This year’s big day for the girls who attend will include a fashion show, empowering speakers, lunch and dessert. And of course, dresses and more! We are excited to have volunteer support to create the founder, Dawn Schultz, vision of a Wonderland theme. Think Alice! 

We were blessed to have some beautiful faces show up and support our cause.

Our director of Operations, Linda Harris, led the meeting and opened us up in prayer. She went over our agenda and reiterated our mission statement, our focus,  and objectives to our guests. Some of the Items  on the agenda were :

Upcoming Fundraisers- we are planning several fundraisers leading up to the 2017 event . These include a cookie exchange and silent auction, a women’s tea, and since our taco dinner was such a hit, we are planning to do another! We also discussed a walk-a-thon which would tenatively be held next fall at a local park. 

We were honored to have George Cambrero as a guest. George and EVMWD graciously donated $100 to our organization! Thank you!

We are currently collecting baskets and other items  from our Inland Valley Empire friends and businesses for our end of year chili dinner and silent auction to be held in Wildomar on December 3. To donate, please contact Dawn or Linda at operationpromgirl@ gmail.com. We have faith in a fun and successful community event that will  raise funds for our big event on April 8. 

Shortly after the vision came to life in 2014, we assisted 15 girls. In 2015 we assisted 47 girls. This year we have assisted 96 girls and this newly includes assisting military women who need formals to get to their balls and other events, and military women with PTSD for glam makeovers. We anticipate being able to assist well over 100 participants in 2017! 

Operation Prom Girl is powered solely by volunteerism and community support/donations. We thank God for this organization that has a growth of over 100% since our first event in 2014. We expect to continue to rapidly grow, and are implementing new ideas to carry forth the vision of beauty from the inside out through love, courage, and empowerment. Operationpromgirl@gmail.com

An Update From Our Heart To Yours

When I started Operation Prom Girl, I NEVER expected that this would grow  so quickly! I moved to the Inland Valley Empire (Wildomar) a mere three years ago and had a vision straight from God- of helping a handful of local girls attend their prom.

I remember that someone had helped my oldest daughter attend prom with all the bells and whistles I could not afford as a single mother, I also remember how I had not attended the big day myself. Seeing my friends pictures – even to this day, thanks to social media- really made me feel like I once again had missed out on something that was almost a “rite of passage” for many.

I came from Los Angeles as a makeup artist of 20 years , to the Inland Valley Empire. I worked for big companies like Chanel, MAC, Estée Lauder, etc etc… I spent most of my children’s growing years working constantly, and traveling on LA/OC freeways. One thing I remembered, and what set so deeply in my heart, was the fact that the makeup chair magically became a counseling room. No matter the demographic, no matter the makeup line, how much money somebody had or didn’t have; all of us- women of all ages- have something to say. We ALL have a story to tell.

I grew up in Long Beach, and then Norwalk, CA , for my childhood and on into early adulthood. I DO have quite a testimony of what has happened in my life. God has spared me death multiple times and I know it is so I can continue to reach out to others, offering love and hope and encouragement to those who struggle with some type of dysfunction or hurt, confusion, and lack of whatever it may be that a child needs as they grow into adulthood. I was given this blessing, as I myself looked for REAL LOVE since the day I can remember. Probably about 4 years old. I never, ever felt I was good enough just being Dawn. Dawn Schultz. And love, my friends- real love- is something they do not teach in school. I sought to find love everywhere I went. Even as a small child. Trying to prove I was “good enough” around any group of people, or any situation I found myself in. Alas, I always felt as if I missed the mark.  I began to dislike that person looking back at me in the mirror. I began to believe the lie from the enemy that I didn’t measure up and I would never be successful or have a good life.

Back to the vision of this garden party to bring a few girls to the house I was renting, to make them feel great and try and provide them a prom dress with the cherry on top being hair and makeup… I used a social media platform- primarily Facebook- and found out there were exchanges in the areas surrounding me- that I could use to communicate with the local communities. I put the vision and my heart and soul out to the public. I needed a few nice prom dresses for a handful of girls who for one reason or another, we’re facing challenges and hardship.

Not long after I ran into an amazing lady named Linda Harris. She had also just moved into the community from Northern California. Her and the hubby were recent retirees from ATT and her husband was a veteran. I am crazy about the USA and our military, by the way. She observed what I was trying to do and knew I relied on God, and soon we began talking. Linda Harris is now the Director of Operations for Operation Prom Girl, while I am a bit aloof, and more of a visionary, she is the “spreadsheet, organize, dot our i’s and cross our t’s gal. We are an absolutely perfect balance. What does her husband, Bruce do? All of the hustling. Getting good deals on heavy duty clothing racks, transporting things for us, hiring a taco lady to feed the multitudes whole money is scarce on my end, and talking to the VFW, Post 1508, who has supported our vision from the day we only had 20 girls show up for a quickly thrown- together shindig, that very first year.

I had only lived here for a month and dresses started filling up the little broken rack I kept at my doorstep. The community was obviously ON FIRE for this vision that started as a pay it forward, let’s have a garden party at my house to “oops we’ve outgrown my house. Cancel that. There’s a need here coming through. SOS PLEASE send help . I’ve now got 200 dresses from strangers that donated for this.”Lolol. Let me tell you, every single day I came home, my eyes filled with tears at the wonders of God and this small town called Wildomar. Then, the dresses KEPT COMING. From all surrounding areas. Actually, no limits! Everybody wanted to help or jump on board or knew somebody who was in need.

Operation Prom Girl is a Community organization and is supported through volunteer and donations.  We are also holding our first fundraiser on August 13th at the VFW in Wildomar.  Please visit our FB page for the details.

If you have further questions about Operation Prom Girl, please email operationpromgirl@gmail.com. We also have a Facebook, Instagram, (and Twitter @opromgirl) that you can reach us and follow us at. Support this amazing outreach organization. We have a lot of surprises coming up and can’t possibly do it without your love and support! Xoxo

Dawn Schultz

Founder and CEO~Operation Prom Girl SoCal

Operation Prom Girl Is On the Move!

We are so pleased to be able to say that Operation Prom Girl 2016 is going to take place this year at Mountain View Church of Wildomar, where we have rented the absolute perfect facility for the event on April 2. We have many wonderful volunteers that have stepped up to the plate to swing into spring and give their hearts to this wonderful outreach that is a mere 3 years old, and growing steadily! We are also super excited to announce that not only is Lake Elsinore/Wildomar school district on board and sending referrals for girls in need of assistance, but now we have Perris school district and their superintendents stepping in to not only support OPG, but send us girls who will qualify for this incredible event! There is such a need out there! We know how hard it is to get to prom. I did not attend mine, and I had someone step up to assist my daughter as I was a single parent who worked many hours as a makeup artist. I still felt the sting of the costs associated with prom and was blessed when Bettyann Behr picked up the pieces that were too heavy of a load for me and helped make my daughter’s special day a reality, 4 years or so ago. A big thank you to the woman who helped and also was instrumental in my vision to help all girls in need. Operation Prom Girl will ALWAYS be more than just a dress and no young lady, no matter the age, will ever be left behind!

 

Operation Prom Girl So Cal- Get Involved

Operation Prom Girl is a community based organization that provides prom dresses/formal gowns, shoes and accessories to high school girls, Military Wives, and women with financial hardships or unusual circumstances.

While the prom dress is the main attraction the real goal behind what we do is to promote inner beauty, self love, acceptance and worth.  We accomplish this during our annual dress give away event for High School girls as well as throughout the year for those special Military Balls, or other formal events.

If you would like to be part of this, review our website to read about our past events, and signup to volunteer for our April 2, 2016 event.  Web address:  https://opromgirl.wordpress.com or use your smart phone to scan the QR code below.

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Prom Dress Registration is now OPEN

Calling all Southern California High School girls.  Operation Prom Girl has opened up the Prom Dress Registration for 2016 Prom.

Please use the link below to access our website and fill out and submit the Prom Dress Registration 2016

https://opromgirl.wordpress.com/get-a-dress/prom-dress-registration-2016/

Volunteer for our OPG 2016 Event

Hello beautiful friends.  We are now accepting volunteers to help out with the April 2, 2016, Operation Prom Girl Event.

Please use the link below to fill out our submission form – if you would like to volunteer in more than one area please use the drop down box to select your primary area and our comment box to add the other selections

https://opromgirl.wordpress.com/volunteers/

OPG 2016 Volunteer Opportunities

The Annual Operation Prom Girl 2016 (OPG 2016) event will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2016. Based on the results of the 2015 event,  we anticipate assisting more girls in 2016.

It is very exciting to see how this event has grown in just two years. We thank God for bringing in the right people, talents, resources and the willing hearts of the inland valley empire community to make this event a blessing to so many girls.

OPG 2016 will need several people to make it all happen.  We are in the pre-planning phase of OPG 2016 and are working on getting our Team Leaders identified.

If you have experience in the following areas and are interested in serving as a volunteer Team Leader please send us a copy of your resume and a brief cover letter to Operationpromgirl@gmail.com – sharing why you would like to serve as a Team Leader.

The cutoff date to send your resume and cover letter is midnight PST, Sunday, September 30, 2015.

Team Lead Volunteer opportunities – all team leads will work directly with Dawn and Linda

  • Public Relations (1 position) – promoting the event via media, press releases, contacting radio and television stations, other non profit organizations, creating newsletters, all media post must be approved by Dawn & Linda
  • Fundraising/Donations (2 position) – seek donations from local businesses and community members, flowers, cleaners, food, water, decorations, etc. all fundraising ideas/plans must be approved by Dawn & Linda
  • Social Media (1 position) – develop ideas to increase activity on our facebook, instagram and twitter pages,  – all post must be approved by Dawn & Linda
  • Event, Decorating & Hospitality (3 positions)  – coordination of event activities including using  volunteerspot.com to schedule volunteers, decorating venue day of event
  • All submissions are to be sent via email to: operationpromgirl@gmail.com

The countdown has ended and the event was a hit!

We really did have intentions to countdown to zero, and ended up stopping at day 3.  What can I say the days just got away from me!  You know those last few days before your big event you always run into those little annoyances or problems that seem astronomical.  I found myself staying up way past midnight just to make sure everything was ready for the big Operation Prom Girl Event.

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Did all those late nights really make a difference?  Of course we would say yes but who really knows.  All we know is our event was a hit.  We transformed the VFW room (Veterans of Foreign Wars) into a room fit for a princess and our girls loved it!  We had a very large decor crew including a group of Tri Valley Pageant beauties who used their creativity to make our welcome sign.  (you would have thought that was one of our focus items on those late nights)

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As the volunteers worked to transform the room our welcome team was busy getting all the sign in sheets in place and ready.  Let’s not forget the food, desserts, candy and beverages – yes we had another crew who was instrumental in getting all of that set up and replenished.

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The girls started arriving well before the event was scheduled to start, which brought a lot of excitement and anticipation to all of us.  When the doors finally opened at 2:00pm, in came the girls many with their mother or legal guardian.  We had 4 amazing speakers sharing from their hearts the struggles they have encountered and how they moved past them.  Our Emcee was witty, spunky and fantastic!  It would be an understatement to say that God was in that room because you could feel the love everywhere.

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Our Emcee – Leona Berry

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The Faces of Operation Prom Girl – Right side – Founder Dawn Schultz, Left Side – Director of Operations – Linda Harris

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First Speaker – Lyndsay Swann

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Next Speaker – Vanessa Harris

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Next Speaker – Linda Harris

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Fourth Speaker – Deserie Valentine

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We saved the best for last – the makeup workshop the selection of prom dresses & shoes, last but not least the goodie bags!  We were able to collect over 500 prom dresses so the girls had a wide selection to choose from and we had a seamstress on site to make alterations when necessary.

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THE DRESSES & SHOES!!!!!!!

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The Goodie Bags that every girl needs!

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By the time 6pm rolled around the room was pretty empty except for our clean up/tear down crew.  These folks worked like a team to get the job done.  I am in awe of the folks we have in our community (Inland Empire – Riverside County) who made this all possible.

We would be remiss if we did not say a HUGE thank you to Christina of CB Designs who connected us with Denine Diaz and Mary Martinez of the Lake Elsinore Unified School District who were very instrumental in identifying the girls for our program.

I would like to say we are going to take a break but that is impossible – we are already doing the follow up from the evaluations the girls submitted plus thinking about next years events.

Stay tuned when it comes to me and Dawn there is ALWAYS more to come.

Love to you all

Linda and Dawn

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