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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Teen’s Quinceañera Dreams Come True Thanks To Logan Square Neighbors 

Dennise Melecio didn't think she'd be able to afford a quinceañera for her daughter's birthday. Neighbors came to the rescue, donating a dress, a DJ, a photoshoot and so much more to make it happen.

Aliyani Melecio gathered with several of her friends to celebrate her 15th birthday.
Provided; Leen Yassine/Block Club Chicago
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LOGAN SQUARE — Dennise Melecio didn’t think she’d be able to have a quinceañera for her daughter’s 15th birthday.

But then she asked her neighbors if she could borrow a dress so her daughter, Aliyani Melecio, could at least do a photo shoot to mark the occasion. Dozens of her Logan Square neighbors pitched in to help, offering everything from pre-party nail appointments to a DJ.

Thanks to their help, the Melecios celebrated Aliyani’s quinceañera last weekend.

“This was her first big birthday party that she was able to invite friends and have music,” Dennise Melecio said. “It was a very, very special for both of us.”

Financial struggles and illness in the family meant the Melecios weren’t able to plan a quinceañera for their daughter. But Aliyani Melecio had been looking forward to her quinceañera from the moment she turned 14, the mother and daughter said.

A quinceañera is a party to celebrate a girl’s 15th birthday. It has its roots in Mexico and remains an important tradition for many families in Chicago.

Unsure if the party could happen, Aliyani Melecio told her mom she wanted the feeling of trying on a dress even if she couldn’t buy it or have a full quinceañera.

Credit: Provided
Aliyani Melecio took photos in her quinceañera dress before hosting her 15th birthday party with a group of close friends.

So Dennise Melecio posted on Facebook, asking for help with borrowing a dress. Instead, neighbors flooded her inbox with comments of support and offers to help organize a celebration.

RELATED: A Logan Square Teen Wanted To Have A Quinceañera. Her Neighbors Came Together To Make It Happen

On Saturday, upbeat music and radio hits played throughout the family’s backyard as Aliyani Melecio gathered with her parents, dog and friends.

The backyard was decorated with a party tent, chairs, balloons and cake, which were all donated by neighbors, Dennise Melecio said.

Leading up to the party, neighbors also pitched in to help Aliyani Melecio feel her best with a facial, makeup, a blue gown and a photoshoot.

“It was a very big surprise for us to see that neighbors were willing to put time to make this happen,” Dennise Melecio said. “It was way more than what I was expecting, what I was asking for. So it was something that will be memorable for her and definitely memorable for me, to know that there were neighbors who were really interested in helping.”

Dennise Melecio said neighbors in the Facebook group have reached out to her for updates, and she plans to share pictures from the photoshoot as soon as the family receives them.

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