More than 600 Donated Dresses and Gowns Help Make Annual Event a Success
LONG BRANCH, NJ, May 01, 2012 – Going to prom was made a lot easier this year for hundreds of local teens, thanks to the generosity of Monmouth County businesses, organizations and families who helped support Family & Children’s Service’s (FCS) third annual prom event, “Countless Dresses, Countless Memories.” More than 600 new and gently worn prom gown and dresses along with shoes, purses and other formal accessories were donated to the 2012 Prom Boutique held March 30 & 31st at the FCS Thrift Boutique in Long Branch, one of the largest in the agency’s 103 year history.
“The outpouring of support for this event was truly overwhelming,” said FCS Manager of Volunteer Services Samantha White. “We had women and their daughters from all over the county stop by our shop to drop off their formal wear. Some of them dug through their closet and attics. Others went out and bought brand new dresses to donate. All of them, however, were working toward the same goal – to make sure that every girl who wants to go to her prom can go, regardless of her financial circumstances.”
Throughout the two-day sale, young shoppers were able to purchase a gown or dress for just $15, or a complete ensemble, including dress, shoes and accessories, for $20. Dresses were available in every shade and every length and style. Many were brand new with the tags still on them, including labels like Jessica McClintock, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales. Dresses that did not sell during the two-day sale were then made available to girls by appointment throughout the month of April.
Samantha says part of the program’s success is due to its bottom-up approach. The agency provides organizations and businesses with information on how to sponsor their own dress drives, and then helps collect and distribute the dresses to those who need them. This year, members of Colts Neck High Honor Society collected more than 100 dresses. Employees of Old Navy, Wells Fargo and Investor Savings Bank also took up collections, as did students at Rainbow Academy in Wall. And one of the area’s most exclusive dress shops, Mustillos of Red Bank, generously donated several thousand dollars worth of brand new dresses to the sale.
While the cost of each dress is nominal, all proceeds go directly to support FCS, Monmouth County’s oldest nonprofit social service agency, and its dozen programs and services, including: home care and caregiver relief for the elderly or disabled; homelessness prevention; help for the abused; and programs to advance childhood literacy in local schools. For more information about the Prom Boutique, or to learn how you can help, contact Samantha White, FCS Manager of Volunteer Services at (732) 222-9111 extension 152.
View photos from the 2012 Prom Boutique