By Ed Harris
Southington Youth Services is gearing up for another year running the Kristen’s Kloset program.
The program 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 is a program that provides prom essentials for students with financial or other difficulties, is now accepting donations of gently used prom gowns, shoes, jewelry and purses. The program is now in its sixth year and seems to grow in scope from year to year.
Sue Saucier, director of Youth Services, said her department currently has about 500 dresses, though donations are still being accepted. Saucier plans on going through the dresses in the near future to gauge which ones are usable and more in style.
Last year the program served 282 girls (59 from Southington) and 12 boys, Saucier said. Since Kristen’s Kloset has such an assortment of gowns, the program is offered to help in other towns. Saucier said that students from 50 towns took advantage of the program last year.
“We’re getting more and more stuff in,” Saucier said.
Over the years, the department has opened a seasonal prom shop as part of the Kristen’s Kloset program. Almost all of the items at the shop were made available through donations.
The shop is normally open March 8 through May. The store will be located in the town hall annex, first floor, at 93 Main St.
The program is seeking volunteers to help set up, work in the shop, collect donations and various other tasks. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Saucier at Youth Services.
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 196 North Main St., Mondays through Fridays from 8:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, call Southington Youth Services at 276-6281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By Ed Harris