QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) — An NYPD event that provides New York City students with free prom dresses, shoes, bags and makeup is taking place this weekend in Queens.
The initiative, entitled Prom Impact, has been around since 2015 and is hosted by the officers of Patrol Borough Queens South Community Affairs. Organizer Detective Tanya Duhaney said the event started after NYPD Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated in 2014 while in their patrol car in Brooklyn.
“Officers needed to give back. We needed to show these kids that we care about them. Not everyone is bad. You have great officers that work daily to make sure we have the proper engagement with our youth,” Duhaney said.
Queens resident Sara Zaidane attended the event with her mom and got a purple dress. The 17-year-old plans to wear it to her senior prom in a few weeks — the dress fits her perfectly and she likes the color, she told PIX11 News. The fact that it was free is just the icing on the cake.
“I’m going to college and everything, and money isn’t going to come easily,” she said, “so taking a bit of the weight off is awesome.”
At Saturday’s event, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell met with members of the community.
The New York City Police Foundation sponsored the event. All the pieces are donated by officers along with private businesses and local community members. Organizers said the goal is to serve 800 students throughout the weekend.
Kristina Hare, 17, picked out a dress with her mom Theresa. They said they hope bridges between the community and police continue to be built.
“I’m very grateful to the NYPD to do this because you don’t hear about a lot things like this in the area, so when I heard about it I was really pleased,” Kristina Hare said.
The event takes place again Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Richard S. Grossley School in Queens.