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NEW YORK—When fashion designer Sherri Hill donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in prom dresses to military teens, volunteers and sponsors from around the nation stepped up to make the event as special as possible.
How many exactly?
Two hundred seventy-two volunteers donated 4,294 hours of their time, and dozens of sponsors – including cash sponsors like CNN – donated goods and services totaling $750,000 to make the New York City version of USO Operation: That’s My Dress a success.
Forty-five Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contestants flew into Manhattan on their own dime to model the dresses in a runway show produced by the USO and TAJ Events with music by celebrity DJ Marlon Bizzy. The models also served as stylists, assisting teens in picking out the perfect prom dress and fashion jewelry.
Fourteen celebrities carved time out of their schedules to make appearances, including Sadie and Korie Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” and the reigning Miss USA Erin Brady. A dozen hair stylists and make-up artists from L’Oreal USA plus jewelry donations from Fashion Delivers helped the teens glow and glitter. And local donors like UHAUL, MTV, Neapolitan Pizza, Au Bon Pain Catering, Indelible Impact and venue managers like the Paramount Hotel and The Marriott Marquis New York helped to make the day’s event possible.
The event couldn’t have been secure without New York’s Empire Shield Task Force. And Tukaiz Marketing Services made sure it had the same look as a New York Fashion Week event.
And of course there was Hill - who has been part of every USO Operation: That’s My Dress to date and has donated more than $1 million in apparel all-time to the events.
“The support we receive from our corporate partners sends a resounding message of gratitude and appreciation to military families for their service and sacrifices,” said Brian Whiting, CEO of USO of Metropolitan New York. “This program would not be possible without the generous support of Sherri Hill and an incredible group of volunteers that traveled from more than 25 states to be with us at the event.”
It takes a village to raise a child, but takes a nation of volunteers and corporate sponsors to support and care for the children of our men and women in uniform.