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Paul foundation moves generosity to Winston-Salem

Paul foundation moves generosity to Winston-Salem
February 26
00:00 2015
(Photos by Donna Rogers– Charity Wagner, a senior at Parkland High School, asks about shoes to go with prom dresses she likes. She’ll try them on later. Her mother, Carla Fulton, looks on.)

Jada Paul visits hometown to start giving students prom dresses

At first, it was hard to figure out what was happening in the large room at the Marriott in downtown Winston-Salem on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 21.

Some girls were looking at shoes, purses and other accessories.

Some girls were getting their faces glamorized.

Some were standing in lines holding dresses, waiting to try them on.

Others were looking at dresses on racks.

Everyone appeared to be having fun.

What was going on was a Prom Dress Giveaway sponsored by the Chris Paul Family Foundation. The experience was totally free for the 65 girls – 50 pre-selected and 15 who attended after hearing about the event. They had the opportunity to choose new and vintage gowns, shoes, jewelry and accessories.

The event featured a fashion show with models from the dance team Scarlet Lace, from Winston-Salem State University; makeup demonstrations; motivational speakers promoting education, self-esteem and healthy lifestyles; prizes; giveaways; food; and beverages.

This was the first Prom Dress Giveaway the foundation has sponsored in Winston-Salem.

news, Jada Paul, prom giveaway

Jada Crawley Paul, a 2002 graduate of Mount Tabor High, came to town for the first Prom Dress Giveaway sponsored by the Chris Paul Family Foundation

The foundation held three others in Los Angeles, where the foundation and its founder are based. Los Angeles Clipper basketball superstar Chris Paul, and his wife, Jada Crawley Paul, are from Winston-Salem. Chris Paul started the foundation in 2005.

“I wanted to do something for the girls,” said Jada Paul on Saturday at the event. She explained that the foundation has been providing activities for boys in the past. She said the prom is a time girls can dress up.

“It will be something they remember forever, because prom is a big deal,” Paul said.

Brionna Miller’s mother, Julie Miller, who attended the event, agreed that prom is a big deal for her daughter, who is in a wheelchair.

“Any kind of prom, or anything like that, she gets excited,” Julie Miller said. “She likes to be involved, like anybody.” Brionna, an 11th-grade student at Glenn High School, nodded in agreement when asked whether she was excited.

“She’s got a few people in mind” as dates, Julie Miller said.

The Millers had finished their shopping. Carla Fulton and her daughter Charity Wagner  were shopping for shoes.

Charity, a 12th-grade student at Parkland High, found out about the event through the media, her mother said. She was one of the 15 girls who were not pre-selected but attended the event. She was able to participate after the pre-selected girls were served first.

Carla Fulton said Charity still had to try on two dresses she chose from the rack of prom dresses, and would need to look at purses and maybe a bracelet.

Naomi Harrison, a 12th-grade student at East Forsyth High, was at the make-up station. She came because a teacher invited her.

“She thought it would be fun for me to come,” Naomi said. She said she doesn’t have a date for the May 2 prom at East Forsyth. “I might just go with friends,” she said.

Jada Paul said the foundation started months in advance working with all the high schools in the area to choose four girls in need from each school to attend the event.

Foundation officials allowed 15 girls who showed up to the event to participate.

“It’s been amazing,” Jada Paul said of the event. “To see the girls excited and confident, it makes it all worthwhile.”

She plans to make the Prom Dress Giveaway an annual event.

“There’s something special about doing things at home,” said Paul, a 2002 graduate of Mount Tabor High. “I would love to grow the event where the girls [from the public] just come in. But we have to grow to that point.”

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Donna Rogers

Donna Rogers

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