The excitement, the anticipation and the expectations of the upcoming ‘rite of passage’: graduation, prom night, times that mark the ending of an era and the beginning of a new phase. Something to celebrate. . .
For many young people in our community, these moments that should be joyful instead cause anxiety.
Beth Labrie, volunteer for 5 years with the Education Foundation of Niagara’s Prom Project Niagara aims to make a difference in making these milestone moments memorable in a positive way.
Countless hours spent by many in advance of the day, coordination, generosity of retailers, and many willing hands has made the annual Prom Project Niagara a success since 2009. Beth and her fellow volunteers greet the attendees at the front door on Prom Project Niagara event day. They see the anticipation, the excitement and even some anxiety on those young faces coming in. Some are graduating from grade 6, some from grade 8 while others are searching for that perfect grade 12 graduation or prom dress or suit. When they leave with donated gift certificates from hair salons, florists, dry cleaners, and donated makeup bags or bags of socks and cologne along with the perfect dress or suit, Beth gets to see the elation, the celebration and relief on each face. She has seen a parent cry tears of happiness and thankfulness being able to celebrate their child’s special moment in a way that many take for granted.
That is the greatest reward for a volunteer such as Beth.
Last year, Prom Project Niagara made magic for more than 300 students.
In her own words, Beth explains why she gives of her time and energies. . .
“We must be the examples in our own community, to inspire our youth to become the next generation of leaders, people taking up a cause, having a sense of purpose and giving value to everyone. It only takes a day and a helping hand to make a difference in someone's life to create a special moment of pride, a future with purpose and a reason to say " Someone helped me once. What can I do to help you?"
. . . well spoken words of a generous spirit.
A favourite quote of Beth’s. . .
"You never can tell when you do an act
Just what the result will be;
But with every deed you are sowing a seed,
Though the harvest you may not see."
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Thank you, Beth . . .keep doing what you do.