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Say Yes to the Dress: Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton Opens Up About Why She Started the Homecoming and Prom Dress Drive

During SRT, senior Claire Estabrook sorts through dresses and puts them on a rack in size order. Since her freshman year, Estabrook has donated her dresses from homecoming and Prom to the dress drive. “They’re nice dresses, and I’m only going to wear them once, so why not have someone else wear them?” said Estabrook.

During SRT, senior Claire Estabrook sorts through dresses and puts them on a rack in size order. Since her freshman year, Estabrook has donated her dresses from homecoming and Prom to the dress drive. “They’re nice dresses, and I’m only going to wear them once, so why not have someone else wear them?” said Estabrook.

During SRT, senior Claire Estabrook sorts through dresses and puts them on a rack in size order. Since her freshman year, Estabrook has donated her dresses from homecoming and Prom to the dress drive. “They’re nice dresses, and I’m only going to wear them once, so why not have someone else wear them?” said Estabrook.

During SRT, senior Claire Estabrook sorts through dresses and puts them on a rack in size order. Since her freshman year, Estabrook has donated her dresses from homecoming and Prom to the dress drive. “They’re nice dresses, and I’m only going to wear them once, so why not have someone else wear them?” said Estabrook.

Say Yes to the Dress: Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton Opens Up About Why She Started the Homecoming and Prom Dress Drive

Every year, Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton puts together the annual CHS Homecoming and prom dress drive, providing formal wear to students who are unable to afford the proper attire or simply do not have the time to buy new clothes for the dance. Skeens-Benton puts a lot of effort into the drive to ensure students feel included and are able to dress appropriately for any event that requires formal wear, not just school dances.

About five years ago, Skeens-Benton spoke with a girl who had trouble fitting in because she didn’t have the same nice clothes as her peers, stating that she couldn’t afford to have a dress for Homecoming. “I went out and bought her a dress and from that day on her attitude completely changed at school, for the better,” said Skeens-Benton. “And so then I said ‘Well why can’t I do this for as many as there are (in the student body) or that want help?’ And that’s how it all started.”

Senior Claire Estabrook helped set up the dress drive for both Homecoming and prom throughout her entire high school career. After participating in Homecoming Court her sophomore year, she saw how important the event is to the student body.

“Even though we’re Carmel, and we’re known to be the rich kid school or whatever, there are some kids who still struggle to purchase a dress or have the time to go out and get a dress,” said Estabrook. “I thought that doing this would just help not only connect everybody for homecoming, but give reach and access to dresses that wouldn’t be accessible easily by other students.”

Although the dress drive has a formal set up during Homecoming and prom season, Skeens-Benton’s collection of formal wear is available throughout the entire school year. Students have access to both mens and womens clothing that is appropriate for any event that requires formal attire through the student services office.

“I just want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity. I want the reason to be that they’re not going is because they don’t want to, and not because they can’t,” said Skeens-Benton.

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