MILFORD, MA (WHDH) - A new boutique that lends prom gowns to high school students was opened at Milford High School in memory of a graduate who died last year.
“As you may hear from other people who go through loss like this, they want their loved ones to be remembered. You just grasp onto anything you can to keep them close,” said Sandy Gray, mother of 19-year-old Jackie Gray.
Jackie Gray, a Milford High School graduate and student at Quinnipiac University, was on her way to watch Fourth of July fireworks with her friends last summer when the SUV they were riding in crashed. She was killed just steps from her home.
Family friend Cheryl Shea said she wanted to honor Jackie Gray and comfort her family. She was inspired to create “Jackie’s Boutique” to continue the girl’s legacy and capture her essence.
“She was elegant, she was sophisticated, she was loving, she gave back to the community,” said Shea.
“Jackie’s Boutique” now helps high school students not just with clothes but confidence as well. Students can try on prom dresses and Shea and Gray help them style their hair or try on heels for the first time. The boutique is painted purple, Jackie Gray’s favorite color, and decorated with her beloved jewelry. Pictures of the 19-year-old also adorn the walls.
“She’s being remembered. If people are sharing her story and what she stood for, it’s keeping her alive for me,” said Gray.
As word spread of Jackie’s Boutique, donations started pouring in, even from the store where she bought her own prom dress. Local elementary schools also joined together to host a coin drive, presenting Gray with a $1,600 check for Jackie’s Boutique. One of the students who participated, Taryn Bethel, said Jackie Gray was her dance teacher and called her “loving and caring.”
The dresses are rented out to students no matter their financial situation. All Gray asks for in return is 20 dollars for dry cleaning and upkeep.
If you have any questions regarding the “Dress Exchange” program or are interested in making a donation/exchange please contact The Boutique at JackiesBoutique@milfordma.com. Students that attend Milford High School can inquire about the “Dress Exchange” by contacting Mrs. Cheryl Shea at 508-478-1110 x 2172.
The boutique is accepting dress donations from 2010 to present. Donations can be dropped off at Milford High School Security Office located in the front lobby, House B office, or room B58.
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