Gift of dress, community spirit, thrills Salmon Arm mother and daughter

Olivia Perry-Coultas, 17, and her date for the evening, Ryan.
Image Credit: Contributed

KAMLOOPS - The mother of a young girl whose community rallied to get her a dress for the winter formal says she’s amazed by the generosity and Christmas spirit of strangers.

“I am amazed and in utter shock,” Janet Perry says. “I could not believe it."

Perry’s daughter Olivia Perry-Coultas, 17, is a student in the individual achievement program, a resource developed for children with cognitive disabilities at Salmon Arm Secondary. A teacher and staff members at the school helped quietly fundraise enough money to purchase Perry-Coultas a dress for the winter formal this week, and managed to get the outfit hand-made for her by a local seamstress.

“It’s been in the back of my mind worrying how I’m going to afford to buy a dress for her because I’m a single parent. When her teacher (Norma Jean Gomme) approached me on this, I said ‘yes, definitely,’” Perry says. “Olivia was quite ecstatic. She was in love with the dress and it’s absolutely beautiful.”

Perry says the event which was Wednesday night, Dec. 16, went phenomenally for her daughter who "had a blast" with her friends.

"I’m just amazed at the amount of generosity and Christmas spirit from the community towards my daughter,” she says. "The woman that made the dress, I’m truly awestruck by her seamstress abilities. All I can say is wow."

Perry says her daughter is looking forward to wearing the dress again for her graduation this spring. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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