Camp Happy Days strives each July to give children with cancer and their siblings a week of “normal” activities, away from hospitals and, most importantly, parents.
Providing the children with their own prom festivities is a part of that mission, and several local women will converge on the camp next week to help.
Andrea Killman-Filyaw has been collecting prom, wedding and pageant dresses for the camp for more than a decade.
“I’ve been working with Camp Happy Days for years,” she said. “I love helping with the prom. The kids are just so great, and their faces really light up when they see all the dresses.”
Killman-Filyaw is also instrumental in gathering professionals who donate their services for hair and nail preparation for the prom, which will be held Wednesday during camp.
“We get the hair and nail folks down there to get them ready for the prom; we don’t just provide the dresses,” said Killman-Filyaw. “We help them with everything.”
Her daughter, Lake Killman, also helps at the camp.
“I’ve been going with my mom for years, and I wanted to do something for them,” she said. “I didn’t know what I could do, but I started collecting bows for the little kids.”
This year, Lake, 12, collected 300 bows, more than enough for the camp, which usually has about 250 participants. She calls her effort “Hearts 4 Hair,” and places an orange stone behind each bow in honor of a friend who died in 2016 after an ATV wreck.
“This has really become a passion for me,” said Lake. “I really enjoy helping the kids.”
Killman-Filyaw said she had also collected about 400 dresses for the camp, which begins Sunday and runs through July 8 at Camp Bob Cooper. She has kept the dresses in a vacant room at her salon, The Studio on North Mill Street in Manning.
“We put the racks in here, and I probably have $1,000s worth of dresses,” she said. “There’s prom, pageant, wedding, you name it.”
First Citizens Bank helped the effort, holding a Stack the Rack event earlier this year.
She noted that Palmetto Beauty Supply donated two cases of hair spray for the prom.
“We will load up everything Saturday and take it to camp,” she said. “We will steam the dresses and get them ready.”
Killman-Filyaw said she wants more local residents to be aware of both the camp and the prom effort.
“We have employees from my salon and from Merle Norman who go, but I would love for more residents to get involved,” she said. “We can always use more volunteers. We have about 30 people going this year already.”Read more at:http://www.marieprom.co.uk/prom-dresses-uk | http://www.marieprom.co.uk/evening-dresses-uk
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