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Prom 'fairy godmothers' step in

Fargo North High School students and members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club, from left, Taylor Segal, Fred Burdine and Alexa Mazaheri hold up donated prom dresses for "Project Prom." (Jay Pickthorn / The Forum)

When prom rolls around each spring, high school girls get to feel like Cinderella for a night.

But this year, for dozens of local girls who can't afford those glamorous gowns or just don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars, they have a fairy godmother.

"I think there's a lot of people who don't go to prom because they can't afford it," Alexa Mazaheri said. "It's just really expensive."

So, the Fargo North High School junior and a couple of students stepped in to help, starting "Project Prom."

The three students - all involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or the FCA - had a goal to round up 40 donated dresses before area high schools' special mid- or late-April dance.

But because today is the last day of their fundraiser and they're short of their goal by 20 dresses, they said they'll keep collecting until March.

Then, starting March 7, girls from Fargo North, South or West Fargo high schools can buy a prom dress for $5. Plus, senior girls can enter a contest to win a free $250 senior photo session.

"I actually really like this one; it's pretty," Mazaheri said to junior Taylor Segal as she held a long pink dress dotted with gems. "Prom is a big deal. It's fun to just dress up and look pretty."

Now she's helping make sure that all girls who want just that will get their Cinderella night this year.

That's enough to make senior Fred Burdine help, too, even if he doesn't understand his female friends' fashion fascination.

"I'm a guy; I don't see it as a problem," Burdine said, smiling. "Buying a $300 dress just seems excessive. (But) whenever there's a way I can help people, I do."