HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — For nearly two decades, volunteer-based organization “Fairy Godmothers of Rochester” has worked to provide prom dresses for young girls and families who otherwise couldn’t afford one. Its leadership will soon change, with a continued mission of giving back to generations.

“We started this in 2004, and I’ve been doing it 19 years. I knew I had to pass the wand, but I wanted to make sure I had the right people to pass it to,” said Rene Spallina, founder of Fairy Godmothers of Rochester. 

What started as a small gesture of kindness, to dress less than 100 girls for prom, has evolved into a mission of serving thousands.

Spallina recently decided to step down, but will continue to serve in a more ‘behind-the-scenes’ role. 

Over the years, the nonprofit has worked to ease the stress associated with picking the perfect prom dress, allowing so many to fulfill that experience, by receiving a designer gown for free. 

It has completely changed my perspective in life. I started at, I think my daughter was 8 years old, I wanted her to see everybody has different lives and they live in different ways. I wanted her to know it was so important to give back to the community,” said Spallina. 

Of all the dresses that go out the doors at the Fairy Godmothers storefront at Marketplace Mall, more than half of them are donations. It’s as simple as going through your closet, and making a donation yourself.

With the new change, longtime volunteer Ami Salzman is set to take over with partner, Lynne Fiero.

I was a stay-at-home mom, and the energy of this organization was just – I couldn’t pass it by,” said Salzman, “I think we have a reputation around Rochester and I hope to expand that. They remember the dress. They remember the fabric. They remember the volunteers that helped them. And, I get to be part of that. I get to say, ‘That’s us.'”

Spallina and Salzman both say they’re proud to continue serving the generations to come.

“These girls, some of them will be in my heart forever. I can name the dress they had, the year they came, what they said, what their moms said to me, because it really does leave an imprint on your heart,” said Spallina. 

As the organization gets ready for its month-long dress giveaway in March, there are a few ‘dress drives’ coming up in the near future. 

Members of the community are encouraged to donate a prom-appropriate dress to Panache Consignment in Brighton this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Another drive will be held at the Fairy Godmothers location at the Marketplace Mall February 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The nonprofit is also in need of more volunteers to help sort items. Those interested can visit the ‘Fairy Godmothers of Greater Rochester’ group on Facebook, or visit their website.