In the Media
Pensacola mother turns tragedy into effort to bring joy to others
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A Pensacola mother is turning her unimaginable sorrow into an effort to bring joy to others.
Taxie Lambert is off and running with Project Formal.
"Her formal event, last formal event, was her fifth grade graduation," Lambert said. "I can remember going and shopping for that Sunday school dress. It was important for her to look her best."
Eleven-year-old Desirea Sierra never made it past that fifth grade formal dress because she lost her life to domestic violence at the hands of her father in April 2000.
Today her mother, Taxie Lambert, has launched Project Formal through her 4EVR Dez Foundation.
"All of this is formal wear that I want to gift to students who have household hardships, who have experienced trauma or are having challenges right now," Lambert said.
Emerging from 22 years of pain, Taxie has rallied her family to the cause. They have solicited businesses and the community for new and like-new after five and formal dresses.
This mother's hope is that every girl will have the opportunity to go to her prom.
"I want to see a student who can not financially attend these events because of household hardships -- single moms, grandparents raising their grandchildren," Lambert said. "I want them to have this experience."
Taxie has reached out to the high school counselors and will scheduling fittings for all of the young ladies who are interested. She's still collecting dresses because she wants to have sizes and styles to accommodate everyone.
If you have one in a closet, please consider donating. Taxie believes this really is that special occasion -- that magical time in a young person's life. She plans to make each girl's fitting a memorable experience.
"I want the personal stylist to be able to carry that dress to the dressing room for them," she said. "Help zip them up. Twirl in front of a mirror."
Taxie's 11-year-old, Katelyn, has been right by mom's side. She did the last count on the dresses and the number was 403.
She is totally bought into Project Formal.
"It's made me very happy and excited every single time my mom said, like, we have to go pick up dresses," Katelyn said. "Everybody deserves a dress for a special event like that. This is an opportunity for them to get their dream dress."
Mom didn't forget the guys -- she's working with formal wear rental businesses to try to get donations for them too. Believe it not, prom season will be here before you know it.
Every year, Taxie thinks of that and she thinks of Desirea.
"I think of her not being able to attend high school or prom or having those experiences," she said. "For those students that are here, that have the chance to do that, I'm doing this in Desi's memory."
This story was originally published by WEAR-TV on December 12, 2022. To see the complete story, including the video that appeared on air, visit Pensacola mother turns tragedy into effort to bring joy to others
Rick Outzen Podcast
EPISODE DESCRIPTION (interview starts at 5:25 on player)
Taxie Lambert turned the unimaginable sorrow of losing her daughter to making a difference in other girls’ lives. Eleven-year-old Desirea Sierra never made it past her fifth-grade formal because she lost her life to domestic violence at the hands of her father in April 2000.
Taxie has launched Project Formal through her 4EVR Dez Foundation so that every girl will have the opportunity to go to her prom. Lambert and her family have solicited businesses and the community for new and like-new after-five and formal dresses. High school counselors have recommended girls to the charity, and Project Formal has already collected over 400 dresses.
She asks for help finding girls who would like Project Formal help them get dressed for their next dance.
The Podcast was originally aired on December 18, 2022 on Real News with Rick Outzen on Rick Outzen's Podcast,https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/rick9662