The Cinderella Project will have its first prom dress giveaway this weekend in Gardiner, open to students from around the state.

Prom is such a rite of passage for teenagers. It's a chance for them to dress in formal wear, maybe go to dinner with friends, and then spend an evening of music and dancing as they get ready for Senior year, or as they prepare for graduation. But, any parent will tell you, it's not cheap. Between the cost of the dress, the accessories, the cost of the tickets, and on and on, the costs pile up very fast.

So the Waldo Community Action Partners decided to start the Cinderella Project which, like a fairy godmother, provides the dresses for free. The only cost for a dress is that the teen has to promise to pay it forward, in some way, by doing something for someone else. Many of the young women will donate their dresses back to the project, once the prom is over, so another girl can enjoy them.

This Sunday, the Cinderella Project will be set up at Gardiner Area High School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. High school girls from around the state are invited to stop by, check out the selection, and find their perfect gown. A second giveaway will happen in Belfast in the spring, but the details have not yet been finalized. Once the date is set, the information will be published on the project's website.

Anyone who has a gently used dress to contribute can drop it off at the WCAP offices in Belfast or at any Day's Jewelers location.