Pacers help students pick perfect prom dress

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The Indiana Pacers are in Atlanta for Game 4 of their playoff series. But while the boys are away, the girls are shopping at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

More than 300 students from six schools each got their own hour to find the perfect prom dress. They started lining up at 8 a.m. Monday.

The students had an hour to take two dresses at a time to try on. Volunteers served as personal shoppers.

"They come in and they usually have an idea of a color or a fit that they want and then they start trying several things on, then that completely changes, so they go from 'I want a short pink dress,' to suddenly they are walking out in a long, black one. But that is why it's fun," said drive organizer Lesley West, wife of Pacer David West.

Senior Shairrolyn Simpson was one of the first to head to the dressing room.

"It's good. I was looking for something blue and it is just cute, because I love the rhinestones and stuff and beading," Simpson said.

West is a prom dress giveaway veteran, holding similar events in New Orleans and Oklahoma City. When her husband joined the Pacers, she made the rounds at public schools in Indianapolis.

"I spoke to five different schools and I got a feel from the young ladies about their excitement and their feelings for prom and there were a lot of sad faces, there were some women that told me that they could not afford to go to the prom because of the cost of the dress," West said. "So we decided to help alleviate some of that cost."

"Last year, I went to prom and it was, like, over $200 and I really don't want to go overboard, because I am going to college this year, so I want to stay within a budget," said Broad Ripple H.S. senior Cierra Lytle.

How fun to shop when you can picture your favorite and the price isn't a factor!

"This is going to be a keeper. It fits really nice, I like the color, I like the length, it's free-flowing. I think it's everything I wanted," said junior Miranda Murray.

One after another, the girls showed off their selection. While some had a hard time choosing, Shairrolyn is thrilled that the dress that caught her eye when she walked into the room fit perfectly.

West bought 3,000 dresses, head coach Frank Vogel's wife bought some and nearly 100 dresses came from donations from students at University High School and Orchard School.

Students said they hope the Pacers find a way to keep David West so the event returns next year. Lesley West said either way, she will be back next spring.