By Lisa Capobianco
With prom season just around the corner, the Southington community has stepped up to help girls in need of a dress.
A Moment Away Spa Massage Therapy and Treatments is collecting dresses for Princess & The Prom, a non-profit corporation that provides free prom dresses to high school girls in need. Since the end of February, the spa has received at least six dresses, and hopes to collect 50 by the end of March. The spa will also collect accessories for the dresses, including purses, jewelry and shawls. Donated dresses must be from the past five years.
When spa manager Malarie Mikalonis heard about Princess & The Prom, and thought it would serve as a great way to give back to the community. For eight years now the Spa has pursued a different charity project, including raising money for American Cancer Society.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Mikalonis. “The more we could do to help someone out,” why not?”
“We try to do a different charity every year,” added Lindsey DellaVecchia, the owner of A Moment Away Spa, adding that the mission of Princess & The Prom reinforces the mission of her business.“We’re really about healing and caring for other people.”
Last year, Princess & The Prom collected about 2,000 dresses, said Cheryle Podgorski,the co-founder of the organization, which formed in 2006. In 2009, Best Cleaners joined the cause by becoming a sponsor, collecting, cleaning and transporting all donated dresses.
Each year, Princess & The Prom holds an annual Gown Giveaway Event where area high school girls find the dress of their dreams. This year the event will take place on April 4 through April 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Windsor. All Connecticut high school girls must bring a school ID and pre-register on the non-profit’s website starting March 23. The event also has 250 volunteers who help out, and registration has already started for that.
All dresses can be dropped off at 61 Curtiss Street in Southington. Any person who brings a dress will receive a $10 voucher. Donations will be accepted until March 20.
“We are delighted that A Moment Away Spa is kind enough to collect dresses for us this year, said Podgorksi. “The success of our program is due to the lovely selection of dresses that we can offer the young ladies that attend the Gown Giveaway Event.”
Meanwhile, the Kristen’s Kloset Prom Shop grand opening will take place Saturday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kristen’s Kloset was named after 13-year-old Kristen Warner, an honor roll student and gymnast, who died in an automobile accident ten years ago.Youth Services has run the program for six years now, collecting donations of gently used prom dresses, shoes, jewelry and purses for Southington high school students with financial difficulties.
Kristen’s Closet is located on 93 Main Street in the Town Hall Annex Building. It is open Tuesdays from 2:30 to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students must bring their school ID.
For more information, call Southington Youth Services at 276-6281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Capobianco