HONOLULU (KHON2) — Proms. They are a rite of passage that nearly every teenager in the United States has some experience with.

Whether it was the night of your life or something that really wasn’t all that memorable, proms tend to have a permanent place in our societal norms.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

The experience shopping for the perfect outfit to experience the evening can be one of the most stressful parts of the experience. This is particularly true for people who are on a fixed budget.

Finding that perfect outfit when constrained by a budget can make the experience daunting.

This is why Madison Strand, a graduating senior at King Kekaulike High School, is taking charge of the school’s non-profit Becca’s Closet.

She is making the task of refreshing and revamping the school’s Becca’s Closet chapter as her senior project.

But a bit of background first.

Becca’s Closet was founded by the family of a girl named Rebecca. According to the Becca’s Closet website, she was 16-year-old honors student who was also a cheerleader.

Her life came to a tragic end in 2003 due to a tragic automobile accident. When she was a freshman at Nova High School in Davie, Florida, she founded a dress drive to provide access to prom outfits for high school girls who could not afford to purchase them.

“Rebecca was a passionate, bright, fun-loving young woman who loved being with her friends and felt that no one should miss a high school event because they couldn’t afford to be there. She saw the inequity in the situation and sought to change things,” said her family’s tribute to her legacy. “During the Spring of her sophomore year, Becca singlehandedly collected and donated over 250 formal dresses and helped hundreds of girls across South Florida attend their High School proms in style.”

To honor her legacy, her family founded Becca’s Closet which has chapters in various high schools across the United States, including the only Hawaiʻi chapter located on Maui.

At KKHS, Becca’s Closet has been operating for nearly 20 years. This year will mark a particularly difficult situation for many who lost everything in Maui’s recent fires.

For Maui, according to KKHS, prom season begins in February; and it is a big deal.

According to Strand, “[dresses are] little things that make a big difference, but February’s proms on Maui will be a big deal for high school students throughout the island this year. The need has never been greater on Maui.”

Strand’s plan for the 2024 prom season was to inventory each dress and post the photos online to provide maximum exposure across the island. However, all 300 dresses the chapter had to work with were destroyed by the fires that have impacted Maui.

But rather than packing up and moving on to an easier project, Strand enlisted the help of the chapter’s faculty advisor, Kaylee DeCambra, to rebuild the chapter’s inventory.

“The Becca’s Closet home chapter in South Florida has purchased new rolling racks and garment bags, and a shipment of brand-new dresses donated by Colette by Daphne and Ellie Wilde are on their way to help replenish the chapter’s supply,” said DeCambra.

Strand and DeCambra are hoping more retailers and companies will donate dresses to their closet to support those in need of dresses for prom.

Beginning in February, Becca’s Closet at KKHS will be open during the following dates and times for people to peruse their inventory and find that perfect outfit for prom season.

  • Saturday, Feb. 11 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 13 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

You can donate to the King Kekaulike High School’s Becca’s Closet chapter.

Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8

So, while you are looking for ways to help those impacted by Maui’s devastating fires, then look no further.