Starry starry night Milford shop helps teens have a special prom

MILFORD – The three sisters each tried on gown after gown until they found the ones that really made them smile when they looked into the three-way mirror.

Monica, Julia and Rebecca Cooper are going to a prom, and it’s going to be a prom like no other, a prom for teenagers with serious diseases,

The sisters live in Peterborough and they each have a genetic condition called mitochondrial disease that requires they spend a lot of time in hospitals.

But on a recent Sunday afternoon, they were more interested in chiffon and sequins. They were in a Milford shop going through a huge selection of brand-new prom dresses and the shoes, jewelry and purses to wear with them on June 6.

That’s when young people from all over New England and New York state will be taken by limousine to the Boston’s Ritz Carleton Hotel where they will dance the night away to the theme, Starry, Starry Night.

The dresses were provided by I Do, Again, a consignment bridal and formal attire boutique on the Milford Oval, and also by A Prom to Remember Boston, an organization created by Boston-area hospitals that is putting on the prom.

On May 25, it was a community event, said Mary Mattingly, I Do, Again’s owner, because so many local people and businesses helped.

JM Princewell donated necklaces, bracelets and head scarfs. Cafe on the Oval brought muffins and Carole’s Cake Creation donated mini cupcakes. Mattingly’s landlords, Jeremy and Chris Bradler, donated the use of the vacant space and moved the heavy racks and mirror into the space.

I Do, Again donated about 100 gowns and turned the empty storefront next door into a giant showroom, decked out with balloons, flowers and refreshments to give it a party atmosphere, said Mattingly, “and send them on their way more beautiful than ever.”

The entire prom evening is free, including the gowns, pre-prom salon visits, limousine rides to the Boston Common and a red carpet entrance at the hotel.

“This is phenomenal for them,” said the girls’ mother Deb Cooper, who said her daughters have to miss many high school events because of their complicated treatment schedules.

Wendy Nichols, chairwoman of “A Prom to Remember Boston,” was in Milford on Sunday and she said the Boston prom is the result of two years of planning and is given at no expense to the teens and their families.

“They have big, big hearts,” Mattingly said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at or 673-3100, ext. 304.