Prom Promise Kept

A Dress From Savannah James
Posted on 03/05/2019
Image of Prom Promise(Craig Webb for Beacon Journal)

Sculpt Fitness in Bath Township was transformed from a workout place into a hipster boutique.

And 35 seniors from Akron Public Schools had the run of the place Monday morning as Savannah James and the LeBron James Family Foundation hosted the eighth annual Prom Promise event.

It was a day that was all about the girls, who might not otherwise be able to attend their senior prom, finding just the right dress, fancy shoes, jewelry and makeup.

Savannah told the teens she wasn’t going to waste any of their time with long speeches. She said helping them find the right dress and accessories — all at no cost to the teens — is something she “looks forward to” every spring.

“The biggest thing is I want everyone to have fun,” James said.

The space more closely resembled a gym as the girls were off and running.

Truth be told, they didn’t have to rush, as there were hundreds of brand-new dresses on rack after rack. The dresses were separated by size and came in just about every color and style imaginable, and there were no duplicates so each girl could select her own special one.

A seamstress was ready to make any necessary alterations. Shoe experts from Dillard’s were on hand to help the girls pick out footwear.

Fashion experts were available to help them select the right jewelry, along with a makeup consultant. They could have a hand massage and even have their eyebrows groomed.

The Swensons food truck was there to keep them nourished, along with a smoothie truck and another one specializing in coffee.

The first dress put on a rack for safekeeping was a flowing green one.

Shayanna Bratcher, a senior at Buchtel High School, said she picked the first one she tried on.

“I wanted something unique and something no one else would have,” said the 17-year-old, who plans to attend Stark State after graduation to pursue a career in sports medicine. “This dress was just perfect.”

Michele Campbell, executive director of the foundation, said transforming the gym space into a super cool, high-end boutique, complete this year with a live DJ and mannequins, was Savannah’s idea to “up the game” and “think outside of the box.”

“We wanted this to be like a shopping experience,” she said.

Gym owner Josh Dickey was more than happy to offer up his space for the event. He has been working with the foundation for several years, offering fitness classes for staff and the I Promise School.

Like the transformation of his gym space, Dickey said, the group is literally transforming the lives of Akron school kids.

“We walked into the gym, and it was like ‘Oh, my gosh,’ ” he said. “It was crazy. We are happy to do anything for them.

“Everything they do has an amazing purpose.”

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