Charitable pop-up store gets its own ‘Prom Extravaganza’

By Mike Chaiken
Edition’s Editor

Bristol’s Alyscia Talbot is a convert to the joys of Kristen’s Kloset.
And on March 30, with the help of the Wolcott Grange, the Bristol Central High School junior will be giving Kristen’s Kloset a financial boost with a fund raising “Prom Extravaganza.”
Kristen’s Kloset is a pop-up store organized each year by Southington Youth Services, in which gently used prom gowns are sold at reasonable prices for young women who want to go to the prom but can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars for a new dress.
Alyscia knows about the store because she was one of those girls.
“I got my first prom dress from Kristen’s Kloset,” said Alyscia.
What did she like about the store, which this year is hosted in the Southington Town Hall Annex in Southington at 93 Main St.
“These dresses are gorgeous,” said Alyscia in an interview inside the pop-up store, surrounded by all of the donated gowns. “They’ve only been used once or twice and they’re only $25 or even free. They come in all these beautiful colors. And there are also short dresses. It’s perfect.”
Additionally, Alyscia explained, Kristen’s Kloset has “a great story.”
According to Kristen’s Kloset webpage on the town of Southington’s website, “The program is named after Kristen Warner, a Southington middle school student, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2004. Her family initiated this program in her honor and Southington Youth Services has expanded it over the years.” This is the program’s sixth year.
“Just the whole idea behind it, that everyone works together to put all these dresses out for sale. And all of them are donated. It’s amazing to me,” said Alyscia.
The idea for the fund raiser came to her when she was in the car with her mother, Susan. The pair were talking, and Alyscia had a bit of an epiphany. She wanted to do a fund raiser and donate a portion of the funds to Kristen’s Kloset. And, in so doing, she would help encourage girls across the state to come check out the store.
To that end, this Saturday, at the Wolcott Grange at 313 Bound Line Rd., Wolcott. Alyscia (who is also the Junior Grange Chairperson) will be holding the Prom Extravaganza. There will be vendors, lessons about how to do your hair, make-up, nails, and how to tan, and, of course, dresses for sale from Kristen’s Kloset. One of the treats for the evening will be a fashion show featuring some of the dresses available at Kristen’s Kloset. Local girls will serve as models for the garments.
The Prom Extravaganza is Saturday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10, with a portion of the proceeds going back to Southington Youth Services to help continue the gown program.

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