Caring Partners’ “Belle of the Ball” dress drive is back to help high school junior and senior girls who may choose not to attend their prom due to financial constraints.
You can drop good quality gently worn or new prom dresses and like-new special occasion purses at Anton’s Cleaners at 277 Linden St. in Wellesley (and elsewhere) or at Jordan’s Furniture through March 26. Anton’s cleans the dresses and distributes them to students who could not otherwise afford to attend their proms.
This program culminates in a day-long “boutique” where deserving girls are invited for a day of personal shopping and pampering. Last year, nearly 500 girls participated in Boutique Day hosted by Simmons College, with dresses displayed in a variety of colors, styles and sizes displayed, all free of charge. To date, more than 3,000 girls have been outfitted since Belle of the Ball began in 2005.
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).
Last year, Belle of the Ball collected 6,789 dresses as well as thousands of shoes, purses and makeup items from more than 1,000 individuals from local corporations, nonprofits, retailers, media partners and volunteers. Monetary and in-kind donations are also welcome to cover jewelry, makeup and other accessories and prom-related services.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 obtain more information at antons.com/belle.
Separately, London Harness in Wellesley Square joins Briggs & Riley’s national “A Case for Giving” charity program through Feb. 29, benefitting the Ronald McDonald House. The idea is that you donate your gently used rolling bag to someone in immediate need. You receive a $100 credit on a new Briggs & Riley bag if you donate a used B&R bag, and a $50 credit on a new B&R bag if you donate a used bag from another brand.