The public was invited to help by donating good quality, gently worn or new prom dresses and like-new special occasion purses. These items were dropped off at any of Anton’s Cleaners 42 locations or Jordan’s Furniture stores through March 29, 2014. Monetary and in-kind donations are still welcome to cover jewelry, makeup and other accessories and prom-related services; visit antons.com/belle.
All dresses are cleaned by Anton’s free of charge as a community service as a program of Caring Partners, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Unlike other prom gown collection drives, this program culminates in a day-long “boutique” where deserving girls are invited for a day of personal shopping and pampering. Last year, over 400 girls participated in Boutique Day, with close to 2,000 dresses in a variety of colors, styles and sizes displayed, all free of charge. To date, more than 2,300 girls have been outfitted since Belle of the Ball began in 2005. Last year, Anton’s Cleaners collected 5,676 dresses, with cleaning services donated exceeding $203,000. Since attendance is by “invitation only,” students must be pre-qualified by guidance counselors, teachers and social service agency personnel, who refer high school girls to the program.
Photo caption, L-R: Align Credit Union Cross Point Lowell Branch Manager Bette Cordaro; Align Hale St. Lowell branch manager Jennifer Rivera-Cintron; Align Vice President and Regional Branch Manager Rebecca Hutchings; and Anton’s Cleaners Chelmsford St. Manager Sambo Ken.