Deserving young men enjoy a tux and a suit – Macomb Daily
It’s not just the girls who are looking forward to their prom.
It’s a rite of passage for all high school students that signals their transition from teenagers to young adults. It’s meant to be a celebration of the high school experience; the last hurrah.
In some cases, it’s a matter of not having something to wear.
This year, at least 25 young men didn’t have to worry about where to find a suit for their prom. Comerica Bank in its ongoing efforts to support Southeast Michigan students during prom season in partnership with the Horatio Williams Foundation and Neway’s work at Mount Clemens with the Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO); Determined, Exceptional and Fearless Youth (DEFY) on a Tuxedo and Suit Drive.
“Every year Comerica holds our annual Prom Dress Drive to collect gently used prom dresses and it got me thinking – What can we do for the boys?” said Linda Nosegbe, Vice President of Comerica Bank and Head of Foreign Affairs Market for Southeast Michigan.
“We called the Horatio Williams Foundation and Horatio immediately sprang into action and said, ‘we’re not just going to salvage old suits, we’re going to provide a well-fitting suit to these young men,'” Nosegbe added. .
The partners collaborated with local fashion designer Montee Holland to provide a group of students with a suit or tuxedo, including a shirt, trousers, vest, jacket and tie. All clothing items were purchased by Holland’s Tayion Collection community partners at Macy’s and Men’s Warehouse.
The Horatio Williams Foundation worked with coaches and teachers from Mount Clemens High School and Regent Park Scholar Academy in Detroit to select each student. The students were measured and fitted at Men’s Warehouse and recently picked up their evening wear at the Horatio Williams Foundation in Detroit.
“As a young man I was always inspired by the well-dressed men in the community, I looked forward to having a reason to dress up even if it was just Sunday to go to church” , said Horatio Williams, founder of the Horatio Williams Foundation. “At the foundation, one of our main goals is to give children access to opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. Equipping yourself with a suit is an opportunity to give hope to a young man. Knowing that we not only believe in who you are, but also in who you will become. As a young man, whenever it was time to put on a suit, I felt stronger, smarter, and felt respected. I want young men to know that feeling.
The group’s efforts have not only eased the barriers for local youth looking to experience one of life’s greatest moments, but also boosted their self-esteem and confidence. What young man doesn’t want to look his best when he walks into a room full of friends and teachers. The campaign has also helped parents cut costs and join in the celebration that follows their child’s academic achievements.
“The Tayion Collection is honored and thrilled to be part of this initiative,” said Holland, President and CEO of Tayion Collection. “Our goal is to make them believe that they are truly successful despite their family situation, their origin or their socio-economic status. I am certain that if we continually tell our young men that they are what success looks like, they will continue to work to improve themselves and ultimately improve the communities in which they live.
In addition to financial and volunteer support from Comerica Bank, DABO held a fundraiser on April 23 to support the campaign. Additional financial donations are always accepted. To donate, call 313-567-0883 or email [email protected] Clothing donations are not being accepted at this time.