13th Annual “Belle of the Ball” prom dress drive for high school girls in need kicks off February 6th and runs through April 1, 2017
Returning partners include Anton’s Cleaners, Jordan’s Furniture, Enterprise Bank as well as FOX25, The Bull 101.7, Kiss 108 FM, JAM’N 94.5, and Wicked Local.
TEWSKBURY, Mass. (January 24, 2017) – Prom season is one of the biggest life events for high school girls, but for students with limited financial resources, prom season can be a source of tremendous stress. Red carpet media coverage and peer pressure over social media can turn prom season into panic. For the 13th year, Caring Partners’ “Belle of the Ball” prom dress drive transforms high school junior and senior girls through the generosity of donors, sponsors and volunteers, all true Caring Partners helping any girl who needs a prom dress due to financial constraints.
Starting February 6, 2017 and running through April 1, simply drop off your gently worn prom dress to any Anton’s Cleaners, Jordan’s Furniture or Enterprise Bank location. All good quality, gently worn or new prom dresses are welcome. Anton’s Cleaners then cleans the donated prom dresses at no charge, and distributes to high school junior and senior girls who could not otherwise afford to attend their school’s prom. (See antons.com, jordans.com or enterprisebanking.com for a location near you). Monetary and in-kind donations are also welcome to cover jewelry, makeup and other accessories and prom-related services; visit antons.com/belle to make a financial donation. Caring Partners, Inc. is 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 – a powerful personal experience. Last year, over nearly 500 girls enjoyed Boutique Day hosted by Simmons College, with dresses displayed in a variety of colors, styles and sizes displayed, all free of charge. Since attendance to Boutique Day 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. Referrals are welcome through the website (antons.com/belle).
“Much like our successful Coats for Kids program, Belle of the Ball ensures no girl who needs a prom dress goes without one,” said Arthur Anton Jr., COO, Anton’s Cleaners and a founder of Belle of the Ball. “Every high school girl should have the experience of feeling beautiful, inside and out, at their prom. We couldn’t make these dreams come true without a legion of corporate partners, dress donors, and a giant team of loyal volunteers and supporters.”
Similar to Anton’s successful Coats for Kids drive, the tremendous collection effort is coordinated with high schools, colleges, and corporate and community partners. Companies, organizations, and schools interested in holding a prom dress collection drive, making an in-kind donation, or individuals looking to volunteer at the boutique can sign up online at antons.com/belle. Promotional partners on board this year including Anton’s Cleaners, Jordan’s Furniture, Enterprise Bank, FOX25, The Bull 101.7, Kiss 108 FM, JAM’N 94.5, and Wicked Local.
According to corporate partner Eliot Tatelman, President and CEO of Jordan’s Furniture, “We are happy to continue our support of Belle of the Ball, and invite our generous customers to bring their dresses and gowns to any one of our stores, and be part of this wonderful program. Attending Belle of the Ball is a highlight for me, as I look forward to seeing these girls’ magical transformations, and huge smiles, each season.”
Over the years, participants of Belle of the Ball have reflected that it was a wonderful experience not because of how they looked in their dress, but because of the positive change in the way they felt about themselves.
Last year, Belle of the Ball collected 7,056 dresses as well as thousands of shoes, purses and makeup items from thousands of individuals, local corporations, nonprofits, retailers, media partners and volunteers. Anton’s Cleaners collected and cleaned the donated dresses, with cleaning services exceeding $283,000 in value, bringing the total donated to $2,016,801. To date, more than 3,500 girls have been outfitted since Belle of the Ball began in 2005.