Beverly Heimann remembers her high school prom.

It’s been awhile, but Heimann says “my favorite part was shopping for my dress.”

Heimann is now co-chair of “Dreams Delivered,” a project of the Woman’s Club of Evanston, which provides free prom dresses, shoes, and accessories to students whose families might not be able to afford what can often be big ticket items. (Proof of income is not required to take part).

“‘Dreams Delivered’ is like a department store,” Heimann says. There are so many dresses available, she adds, that “we’ve stopped counting.”

Some of the racks of dresses.

The shopping boutique is this Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at the Woman’s Club building, at 1702 Chicago Ave.

Since its startup in 2007, “Dreams Delivered” has delivered more than 800 dresses, which the recipients get to keep. These are not loaners, not like the tuxedos that guys rent and have to take back to the store.

One ETHS student, who is now a graduate, told the Woman’s Club that “I was worried about all of the different costs associated with graduation, especially the cost of a new prom dress. I got a dress I loved for free, and it was an enjoyable experience.

In fact, each student who comes to the boutique is assigned a personal shopper.

There are also seamstresses, Heimann says, and beauty/makeup consultants … a total of about 50 vounteers.

Some of the accessories on display.

“Part of the magic of Dreams Delivered,” Heimann says, “is the students coming and shopping.”

And this year’s prom is particularly special. Due to COVID19, there was no prom at all in 2020. Last year, there was a “Senior Sendoff” at the football field instead.

Because of what took place, or did not take place the past two years, “Dreams Delivered” did not take place either.

But this year, there’s a real live prom, at Navy Pier, no less, so grads want to look their best.

And there’s no question that those getting dresses, shoes, and jewelry look their best indeed.

“They’re glowing,” Heimann says, “as they walk out the door.”

The Woman’s Club puts on “Dreams Delivered” in cooperation with the Ivy Pearl Foundation and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (Delta Chi Omega chapter).

There are still shopping slots available, but appointmens are needed.

While the event focus on students at ETHS, prom-goers from other surrounding communities are also allowed to get a dress and accessories.

For further information, including how to sign up, go to the Woman’s Club website, wcofe.org.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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