WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – If you have a high school senior at home, you’re probably talking about the prom. The big night is just around the corner, and those gowns and tuxedos can be a bit pricey.

That won’t be the case for some students in West Haven.

“We’re hanging them up and we’re getting them all set for people to come shop on Thursday and Friday,” said Emily Hennessey, a West Haven High School cheerleader.

Hennessey is referring to what’s called “The Westy D.R.I.P Project.”

“Kids use the term DRIP in response to how they look dressed up. So, we took that and made Dream, Respect, Inclusion, and Pride,” said Bridgette Hoskie, the West Haven High School cheerleading coach.

Bridgette Hoskie is the cheerleading coach at West Haven High School. She came up with the idea to have the latest in prom gear donated to juniors and seniors and to teach them about volunteerism all at the same time.

“Coming out of the pandemic, families may still be struggling, and I think you don’t know that kids at the high school may have certain insecurities and they may choose not to go to prom,” Hoskie said.

That won’t be the case this year. Dresses of all different colors, styles, and sizes have been donated by area businesses, and they’re free of charge.  

“So, Thursday and Friday, if you go to West Haven High School, you will be able to come and shop at our boutique. During school, we will bus you over,” Hoskie said.

In addition to the gowns and suits, the boys will be offered free haircuts thanks to places like Shear Institute.