16th Annual ‘Belle of the Ball’ Prom Dress Drive
16th Annual “Belle of the Ball” Prom Dress Drive for High School Girls In Need Runs February 10 through March 29, 2020
As winter trudges on and spring approaches, high school girls throughout Massachusetts begin the search for prom dresses and prepping for this milestone event – an event that brings extra stress to those with limited financial resources. Social media peer pressure and pop culture can turn a typically memorable milestone into a crisis point for young women in crisis. Celebrating its 16th year, Caring Partners’ “Belle of the Ball” prom dress drive transforms high school junior and senior girls through the generosity of donors, sponsors and volunteers — true Caring Partners working toward one mission: any girl who needs a prom dress will have one.
Starting February 10 and running through March 29, simply drop off your gently worn prom dress to any Anton’s Cleaners, Jordan’s Furniture or Enterprise Bank location. All good quality, gently worn or new prom dresses are welcome; plus size dresses are especially appreciated. Anton’s Cleaners then cleans the donated prom dresses at no charge, and distributes to high school junior and senior girls who could not otherwise afford to attend their school’s prom. (See antons.com, jordans.com or enterprisebanking.com for a location near you).
Tapping into a similarly dedicated network of partners for Anton’s successful Coats for Kids drive, the tremendous dress collection effort is coordinated with hundreds of high schools, colleges, and corporate and community partners. Any organization interested in holding a prom dress collection drive, making an in-kind donation, or individuals looking to volunteer at the boutique can sign up online now at antons.com/belle.
Unlike other prom gown collection drives, this program culminates in a “boutique” event where deserving girls are invited for a day of personal shopping and pampering – a powerful personal experience. This year over 1000 girls will be invited – more than ever before – to enjoy Boutique Day at the Hynes Convention Center, with dresses displayed in a variety of colors, styles and sizes. Monetary and in-kind donations are needed to pay for jewelry, makeup and other accessories and prom-related services: visit antons.com/belle to make a financial donation. Caring Partners, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
Since attendance is by “invitation only,” students must be pre-qualified by guidance counselors, teachers and social service agency personnel, who may now refer high school girls to the program online through antons.com/belle. Volunteers are also now invited to register online to assist with personal shopping, registration, event setup/breakdown, and other related tasks.
According to Arthur Anton Jr., COO, Anton’s Cleaners and a founder of Belle of the Ball, “Our mission has remained consistent for the past sixteen years: every high school girl should have the experience of feeling beautiful, inside and out, at their prom. Thanks to a consistent presence and support by our generous corporate partners, dress donors and volunteers, we are proud to make this year bigger and better than ever.”
“We are happy to continue our support of Belle of the Ball, and invite our generous customers to bring their dresses and gowns to any one of our stores,” said corporate partner Eliot Tatelman, President and CEO of Jordan’s Furniture. “Every year, I look forward to attending Belle of the Ball and seeing the impact of our partnership in these girls’ smiles. Belle of the Ball truly changes lives.”
For sixteen years, girls have shared final prom dress photos and written to the program with transformative stories, describing the impact Belle of the Ball has had not only as a clothing drive but the positive change in the way they felt about themselves. To date, nearly 5,500 girls have been outfitted since Belle of the Ball began in 2005, with over $2.7M in dry cleaning services donated by Anton’s since the program’s inception. Last year, over 3,500 gowns were cleaned by Anton’s and 950 girls in need were invited to Boutique Day.
For more information about Caring Partners’ Belle of the Ball, visit antons.com/belle.