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Prom night for over a hundred young ladies got a little more special April 9 at the ninth annual "Belle of the Ball" event sponsored by Wayne County Commission Vice-Chair Alisha Bell, D-Detroit.

The girls walked out of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, 16500 Tireman, Detroit, with free prom dresses and accessories, which will significantly lower the cost of their expensive, milestone evening.

"It was such a great feeling seeing the girls and their families with huge smiles," Vice-Chair Bell said. "To give back to the community like that and make these young ladies so happy is a wonderful feeling."

The girls chose free new and/or gently used formal and semiformal dresses, shoes, purses and jewelry that were donated. A large amount of the items were new. And the girls just didn't come from Vice-Chair Bell's 7th Commission District, which covers part of Detroit's far west side. They came from high schools across the city and suburban Detroit, as well.

Vice-Chair Bell estimates that the "Belle of the Ball" events combined have given away more than 1,600 dresses.

She expressed her appreciation to the volunteers and businesses that donated dresses and accessories. Sponsors included Unique Lady Bridal & Prom; Amour Bridal, Prom and Tuxedo; Betsy's Bride and Formal; Burlington Coat Factory; J.C. Penney; and Sears.

Vice-Chair Bell also is grateful toward the Boys & Girls Club for again offering the building to host "Belle of the Ball." In addition, board members and employees of The Salvation Army-Eastern Michigan Division donated dresses, accessories and clothing racks, and Two Men and a Truck transported the dresses.

And, she expressed appreciation to the volunteers who kept everything running smoothly. The group included family, friends, staff and members of Team LOOPS Inc., or Linking Over Obstacles Partnering Services.