APART from the release of the matric results, the most anticipated event in the final year of high school is the matric farewell dance.
Sadly, not every matric pupil can afford to attend this dance, said Annelise Damons, founder of the Cinderella Foundation in Bloemendal.
The foundation, which is the brainchild of Damons and her sister, Ingrid Kallies, is a non-profit organisation, established last year in April. The foundation aims to help underprivileged matrics by providing them with dresses or suits for their matric dance and assisting with hair, nails and make-up.
“For many girls, a matric dance is something that is spoken about and dreamed of from the beginning of their matric year.”
Damons chose the name ‘Cinderella Foundation’ because she wanted to make matric dance wishes come true.
“These matrics have spent many years studying and this is a way of rewarding them for staying in school because we know it’s not easy, especially financially,” Damons added.
The Cinderella Foundation was inspired by her son, Lesley Damons, who was unable to complete high school.
“My son was supposed to be in matric last year but he was assaulted by two bullies a few years ago.
“He couldn’t finish school due to brain damage. I want to encourage young people not to leave school if they have the ability to complete it,” she said. Although the foundation is less than a year old, Damons, together with the help of her volunteers and sponsors, has helped over 150 matrics attend their matric farewell dance.“Most of the girls have never used make up or had their hair and nails done before, so it’s a privilege to help them feel special,” she said. Nasherlee Collins (18) who attended Bethelsdorp Comprehensive High School last year, said that on the day of her matric dance, she felt like a Disney Princess. “The Cinderella Foundation really helped me. I had my own dress but I still needed to get my hair, nails and make-up sorted. It was stressful but they (Cinderella Foundation) came to my rescue and made me look and feel like a princess,” Collins said. The foundation recently started assisting underprivileged couples who are struggling with wedding preparations due to financial reasons. “We don’t sponsor the whole wedding but we help with wedding dresses, suits, accessories and
discounts for hair, nails and make up,” Damons said. The foundation only requests R100 donation from the matric pupil. After the dance, the dress, suit, shoes and accessories must be returned in the original condition to the foundation. “I hope I will get more sponsors because we have problems with transport to take the matrics to their ball.” “My wish for 2016 is that we help even more matrics than last year - that’s why we’re planning on having a function soon to raise funds. It will be like a ball for those out of school or who did not attend their farewell dance,” Damons said. For more information about the Cinderella Foundation, contact Annelise Damons on 073 812