PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Friday night will be a night to remember for New Horizons Learning Center’s students.

Prom night is here and the teens were able to shop at the school’s free prom closet thanks to donations from businesses and community members.

Senior and 2021 Prom Queen, Jaden Spears, said she tried on eight dresses before she landed on her perfect from dress.

“This dress drew my eye because I love the color, the lace, the train,” Spears said.

Local businesses and several others donated dresses, jewelry, shirts, ties and hygiene products to help kids get ready for the big night.

“It was really fun to try on so many dresses because you get to pick one that fits you and a lot of them were beautiful it was difficult,” Spears said. “But I’m thankful that people donated so many dresses.”

Another New Horizons student, Gabriel Osborne, was accepted to Gulf Coast State College this week.

He said prom will be his celebration for the big milestone. He picked out a blue dress shirt for the occasion.

“I got the email on my phone, I looked at it and I didn’t believe it for a minute and then I showed her it,” Osborne said. “It didn’t feel real at first.”

New Horizons Principal, Gordon Pongratz, said they have been overwhelmed by the support from the community.

“We’ve had great community volunteers step up and bought our kids, males especially, brand new shirts and ties, shoes, socks, the whole nine yards,” Pongratz said. “Our kids are going to feel like a million bucks tonight, our girls are going to look a million bucks also because these dresses are unbelievable.”

The students didn’t have to spend a dime to attend Friday’s prom.

Here is a full list of people who contributed to the prom closet:

  • Horsley Construction
  • Horsley Real Estate
  • Suzane Farrar
  • Ben DeGeorge
  • Chris Dillahey
  • Brooke Bullard and friends
  • Marlene Barnes seamstress work
  • Laura and Tom Dever
  • NHLC Mentor Program
  • Alfonso Ocampo
  • Friends of Gordon Pongratz
  • Cindy’s Consignment/Dream Gowns
  • Haney Cosmetology Program
  • Xi Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Chautauqua Learning Center