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Mom Prom fundraising concept starts to gain steam

Mom Prom: The fundraising idea that started in Detroit has begun to spread as a fun way to bring women together at a themed party while helping a cause. The Mom Prom concept has spread to Washington and New York, and may soon be found in four other states.

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Crapps' sister, Katie Long, attended the bash to get ideas about holding a Mom Prom in New Hampshire. The 32-year-old, who earlier joked "it's cool to be ugly," swaggered in a shimmery, rose-colored 1980s-era dress with gold metallic leaves that she bought on eBay.

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Crapps, the assistant director of faith formation at St. Thomas a'Becket Catholic Church, said her dream is to see Mom Proms held across the country on the same day.

Her event this year raised more than $3,000 for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the HHT Foundation, which works toward finding a cure for a genetic disorder that causes blood vessel abnormalities. Past recipients include the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and First Step, a group working to combat domestic and sexual violence.

Jody Nissan, who has several family members with HHT, took to the microphone during Friday's event to offer a tearful "thank you." She was rewarded with an equally emotional response.

It's that togetherness that makes the event so special, said five-time Mom Prom goer Katy Cleveland, a 35-year-old mother of two from Canton. "Moms are always willing to give," she said.

Some attendees' selected attire came with deeper meaning, including Angela Leto's floral yellow, orange and green dress. Her grandmother wore it to a family wedding in 1964 and predicted before she died that Leto would one day wear it.

"And here I am," the 41-year-old Verizon Wireless engineer said, smiling as she held a picture of her grandmother wearing the dress.

Ellie Wallace, who was crowned Mom Prom queen, donned the aqua-colored dress that her late mother wore to Wallace's wedding in 1991. "I really miss her," said the 46-year-old Canton resident who works in advertising.

Women boasted about the camaraderie and unique atmosphere of the event, but Long suggested an added perk: "You're not worried about your husband not wanting to dance."

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