Second-chance debutantes ‘feel like movie stars’ at community ball

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Gail Cummings gets her make-up done by beauty therapist Amanda Bordignon. “I’m very excited.”

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Organiser Kim Doss gets the debutantes’ bouquets ready. (ABC Riverina: Verity Gorman)
Gail Cummings said the experience had been overwhelming and joyful.”It’s a big day for all of us girls and it’s been really exciting,” she said.”You like to feel special every now and again and have your make-up and hair done.”It makes you feel much better.”Ms Doss hopes the annual event will continue to grow and give more people the chance to have a night out they will never forget.”The look on their face is enough to get goosebumps,” she said.”To see them smile and say they feel like a princess is a prize second to none.”

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Those attending the ball were dressed from the community op shop. (ABC Riverina: Verity Gorman) At the age of 66, Janice Pandolfo could barely contain her excitement getting ready for her first debutante ball.”I feel like a movie star, like Nicole Kidman,” she said.Unlike traditional deb balls, where young women are formally presented to society, the Leeton Community Op Shop Debutante Ball in southern New South Wales is open to people of all ages, all backgrounds and all abilities.”I never get a night out and I love to dance,” Ms Pandolfo said. (ABC Riverina: Verity Gorman)
“It just sounded like a great opportunity to help out and give back to the community,” she said.”It’s been so much fun. (ABC Riverina: Verity Gorman)
Kim Doss helped organise the event and said it was all about inclusion.”Everybody is special in their own right and each and every person deserves the opportunity to have a special moment to shine,” she said.”These ladies may never have had a princess moment and tonight they’ll get their princess moment.” The local community has thrown its support behind the event, which is also a fundraiser for the community op shop.”The purpose is not to cost people who may not be able to afford to go to a ball,” Ms Doss said.”We’ve decked some of the fellows out in suits from the op shop, and we’ve provided dresses for the women from the op shop too.”Hairdresser Tania Cavanagh works at TAFE in Griffith and found out about the event on Facebook. These women are beautiful inside and out and it’s been a pleasure doing their hair.”The women said they had loved the opportunity to be pampered. Photo:
Hairdresser Tania Cavanagh volunteered to help the women get ready.
Map:
Leeton 2705
(ABC Riverina: Verity Gorman) ABC Riverina

By Verity Gorman

Posted

June 05, 2018 06:17:35

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Janice Pandolfo puts on her dancing shoes before the debutante ball.