The school ball season is upon us, and all across the Bay parents are totting up the costs for a night of fun.

School balls are a big deal for many teenagers - it's a young person's first real chance of getting dolled up with their friends for a night of dancing and socialising at a formal event.

This significant milestone brings a major dent in the wallet.

There is a lot of pressure on teens, mostly on the young women, to make sure they are decked out in fashionable formal wear, with new shoes, a professional hairdo and makeup, matching accessories and sometimes a fancy car.


All that adds up to a lot of money - and it's a cost not all parents can afford.

It's easy to say that kids shouldn't get caught up in the hype, but when it's an event that everyone around you is talking about for weeks, if not months, on end, it can be devastating knowing you're going to miss out, or not look the part.

It's known these days as FOMO - fear of missing out. Fear of being the one left out of all the in-jokes, the Instagram photos, the lunchtime gossip sessions.

Addressing FOMO head-on is "fairy godmother" Tracey Fawcett, who has been collecting donations of ball gowns, suits, shoes, jewellery and other formal wear for students to borrow and wear to their upcoming ball. Read more about her efforts here.

People can donate their ball dresses and suits to Fawcett's Vector Group Charitable Trust (found on Facebook) for students to borrow for the night and experience the glamour at a fraction of the price - Fawcett asks for a koha to pay for drycleaning.

It's a great idea - expensive clothing that may not otherwise ever see the light of day again helping others feel amazing.

It's just one night, but the memories will last forever.