PLYMOUTH, Minn. — UPDATE: The 2019 Princess Event has been postponed to March 16-17 due to impending weather.
For 13 lucky years a Twin Cities woman worked in a warehouse - tirelessly and for no fortune - to make sure girls who need a little help getting a prom dress, get one.
And now, that woman needs a little help, making sure what she started decades ago continues.
Pam Phillip founded Operation Glass Slipper. The nonprofit provides prom gowns and accessories to high school girls who may not be able to attend prom because of financial issues or family circumstances.
Phillip, who is affectionately known as the head fairy godmother, has helped hundreds of girls. But now the magic is ending.
"It has been 13 years and I really wish we could continue but all of us are getting into our 70s. And physically it is starting to take a toll," she said from a warehouse housing thousands of gowns. "Some of us are walking with canes. We work all year round and people don't realize that. I am standing on the cement for about five hours every day and my legs lock up at night. I have to jump out of bed and walk around. Physically it is catching up to us."
Phillip started small, serving about 500 girls. The program has grown over the years and Phillip said they have provided more than 13,000 dresses to girls in need.
"It is such a cool thing to leave knowing that you touched all these people in a little way," she said. "That is why I hope, hope, hope that there is somebody out there that says my group could take this over. We could do it."
Operation Glass Slipper will host its final Princess Event in March to outfit 1,500 local deserving high school girls with new and gently used prom dresses and accessories.
2019 marks the 13th year for the event. And for the first time ever, freshman and sophomore girls will be included. With that addition, more volunteers are needed to make the girls' dreams come true. Click here if you'd like to volunteer.
The annual Princess Event is a two-day event. Participants are accompanied by a “fairy godmother” to help them shop for the perfect prom attire. The process includes shopping for and trying on dresses, browsing a large selection of shoes and accessories, choosing make-up and visiting the alterations department.
To participate, high school students simply speak to their guidance counselor or teacher at school, a community leader who knows them or a member of the clergy at their church and have them contact Operation Glass Slipper. Students must have a referral form and current ID to participate in the OGS Princess Event.
The 2019 Princess Event is Saturday, March 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Southdale Center in Edina. It was rescheduled from a previous date of March 9 and 10, due to snow.
Operation Glass Slipper serves more than 100 schools in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area.