By Ed Harris
The town will host the Kristen’s Kloset seasonal prom shop this year for the first time.
The program, run by Southington Youth Services, is named after 13-year-old Kristen Warner, an honor roll student and gymnast, who died in an automobile accident in 2004.
Kristen’s Kloset provides Prom essentials for students with financial or other difficulties.
“We have quite a job cleaning up and transforming it into a “prom shop,” but we will be ready for our grand opening,” said Youth Services Director Sue Saucier.
Now in its seventh year, Kristen’s Kloset has grown every year. Saucier said that last year, 236 girls from all over the state got gowns from the prom shop. The gowns typically sell for a $25 donation, which is used to help boys with tuxes and students with prom tickets.
“Girls have come in with their moms and the moms have been so grateful that there was a place where they could find beautiful things for their daughters that they would not usually be able to afford,” Saucier said. “Last year on the opening day, we gave out 38 gowns. That’s just amazing.”
Kristen’s Kloset has enjoyed a steady stream of volunteers over the last few years, but there is always room for more, Saucier said. Anyone interested can contact Youth Services. An orientation meeting will take place in the coming weeks.
The volunteers help set up, work in the shop, collect donations and various other tasks.
The Kloset is still open for donations. Dresses should be clean, up to date style wise and in good condition. Shoes, purses, jewelry and other items are also accepted.
Cash donations to help with tux rentals and prom bids are also welcomed.
Donations can be dropped off at the Youth Services office at 93 Main Street, Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, call Southington Youth Services at 276-6281.