During recess at Balga Senior High School yesterday, laughter and squeals of delight rang out from inside a classroom as teenage girls pored over hundreds of glamorous ball gowns.
A few weeks ago the room was empty.
But thanks to a call for donations before the upcoming school ball, it is now overflowing with bright, shimmering dresses of every size and colour as well as shoes, bags and jewellery.
Balga SHS education assistant and ball co-ordinator Sophia Mathers put a call out on social media a month ago, asking women to donate ball gowns because some students could not afford them and their attendance was in doubt.
Mrs Mathers hoped to get 50 but more than 500 gowns had been donated - including some expensive designer dresses which were never worn - and additions were arriving at the school's reception every day.
"We've had people coming from everywhere to drop the dresses off," Mrs Mathers said. "The community spirit is just brilliant."
Local businesses have also offered to provide hair and make-up services and will hold a pamper day for the students before next Thursday night's ball.
Mrs Mathers said the gowns would be kept in a "dress bank" for use by future students.
"It's like a madhouse, but it's beautiful to see," she said of the classroom-turned-dressing room.
"A student who never wears dresses put one on yesterday and all her friends looked at her and said 'You look like a princess,' and I thought 'That's what it's all about'."
Year 12 student Najjat Shuruma was yet to decide on her gown and said the students were overwhelmed with the generous donations.
"Every time I go to the office I see more people dropping off dresses," she said.
"It's so nice of people to donate them."
'Every time I go to the office I see more people dropping off dresses, it's so nice.' " Year 12 student
- Najjat Shuruma * * *