MATTHEWS, N.C. — Do you remember your high school prom? The fun and the excitement of that special night is not something every student can afford. But at one Matthews high school, department store Belk has stepped in to help in a big way.
Belk is paying for 200 students at Levine Middle College High School to attend prom. The students are getting it all covered -- the dresses, the suits, the shoes, even make up.
It's all thanks to Belk's Project Hometown program.
Kim Tuttle won teacher of the year. It was Tuttle herself who had the idea that her award should be given back to students.
"This is everything," Tuttle said.
Belk decided to go much further than the original $500 award and decided to give each student everything needed for the prom.
"It's truly a blessing," Tuttle said.
Tuttle said half of her kids did not attend last year's prom due to cost. Now because of this gift, everyone can enjoy the big night out.
"Words can't describe how awesome this is," student Alex Paquette said. "For students to go to a prom that a lot of them wouldn't be able to go to is amazing."
The Charlotte-based department store is giving back to the community, and those impacted are sure to remember it.
"I know that my students will always remember that time at prom where we didn't have to pay for food, or dress, or anything else," Tuttle said. "I know that this will be one of their life moments."
Tuttle's students expressed their appreciation -- not only for Belk's gift, but for Tuttle's decision to give back to her students.
"We are like a family and she is like our mother," student Gabrielle Love said. "Honestly, I am so excited. It's just amazing."
According to a recent survey by Visa, the average cost of prom in the United States can be as high as $1,000 per family.
The Levine Middle College High School prom will take place in uptown Charlotte in late April.