By Caitlin Rossi
Magic was in the air on Saturday, April 9, as the Largo Medical Center was transformed into a boutique – Kaiser’s Kloset – and sponsored a free event, ‘A Cinderella Moment,’ for young women in the Prince George’s County community.
Born out of the vision of Largo’s medical center administrator, Nakia Hixon-Sample, the community service event provided new and gently used formal dresses and accessories for underprivileged students so they can attend their senior prom.
Kaiser Permanente employees and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group physicians donated a total of 250 dresses ranging from sizes 0 to 22, and contributed to get all of the dresses dry cleaned for the event.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Largo Medical Center was filled with young women excited to find the perfect dress for prom. Local radio station, WKYS, was even on site to help promote the event and provide entertainment for attendees.
From manning fitting rooms to acting as ‘dress consultants’ to handing out goody bags, 40 KPMAS and MAPMG volunteers ensured that every young woman who attended the event walked away with a beautiful prom dress and accessories.
KPMAS employees truly went above and beyond at the event to make sure that no one walked away empty handed, and even took on the role of ‘fairy godmothers.’
‘Fairy Godmother,’ Kari McGhee, director of surgical specialties for DCSM, shared her magical moment at the event. “While many girls were able to ‘Say Yes to the Dress,’ unfortunately one young lady was unsuccessful. This young lady was heartbroken and her mother was unsure of how they could find and afford a dress for her unique size and height. Several volunteers, ‘fairy godmothers,’ heard this story and offered to sponsor a dress for this young lady.”
The young women and her mother were overcome with emotion as they realized what the Kaiser Permanente volunteers offered. And, right then and there, two volunteers – McGhee and Deborah A. Moore-Walker, assistant director for DCSM Perioperative Services – took the young woman and her mother shopping and they found her the perfect dress (pictured right).
Laura Howard, Community Benefit manager, shared that this moment “was pretty magical.”
Many of the volunteers felt that this event was one of the most rewarding experiences they have had with Kaiser Permanente.
Hixon-Sample shared, “I truly enjoy helping out our community. For me, giving isn’t about making a donation, but making a real difference. Seeing these young ladies faces light up, lets me know we made a difference ‘one dress at a time’.”
Thank you to the employees, physicians, and volunteers who donated their resources and time to make this event a success. If you are interested in hosting a similar event at your medical center or facility, please reach out to the Community Benefit department for more information.
Check out a few photos from the event below.