Chi Omegas help with Girls Town prom

Jen Anton, Haley McGrath, Shelby Smith, Isabella Long, Rachel Frabotta, Shelby Clark, and WWU alumna Jenny Preiss
Jen Anton, Haley McGrath, Shelby Smith, Isabella Long, Rachel Frabotta, Shelby Clark, and WWU alumna Jenny Preiss

Missouri Girls Town recently gave girls the prom experience they may not have gotten otherwise, and  Chi Omega sorority at William Woods University helped.

The non-profit organization aims to provide a safe haven to adolescent girls with a history of neglect or abuse. The girls become a part of the program after being referred through the state. Girls aged 8 to 21 move onto the grounds of Missouri Girls Town, attend alternative school and live together while being provided with care services from counselors and mentors.

The foundation first began in 1953 and was established by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Missouri. For the past five years the organization has hosted proms to help bring a piece of normalcy to the lives of the adolescent girls.

Director of operations Jenny Preiss helped to coordinate the prom and said it involved a lot of hands.

Woods Chapel United Methodist Church in Lee’s Summit provided the prom dresses, The University of Missouri’s Kappa Alpha Theta helped style the girls’ hair, nail-paintingWilliam Woods’ Chi Omega sorority painted the girls’ nails and Sisters in Christ First Baptist Church made corsages.

“Without your time and efforts the day would not have been nearly as successful or memorable,” Preiss said in a letter to the Chi Omega chapter. “Thanks to you our clients were given the opportunity to experience the pre prom preparation of getting their nails done in a girl’s party atmosphere. This will be the only prom that some of our girls will ever attend. The willingness of the WWU Chi Omega’s to come and take part in this experience will without a doubt be a memory in each of our clients’ lives. You should take great pride knowing that you have given that opportunity to 18 young women.”

The girls did not just get dressed up for each other, they attended the prom with dates. Members of Beta Theta Pi fraternity from Fulton’s Westminster College served as escorts for the night.

While the young women of Missouri Girls Town couldn’t control the factors that led them to the group home, Preiss said the staff at Girls Town can control one thing.

“What is in our control is when they’re here, providing them the best experience a young kid can have and every girl should have a prom,” said Preiss. “So, we give it to them.”

The girls of Missouri Girls Town even voted for a prom queen, who was crowned at the dance.