Anton’s Cleaners Kicks Off 9th Annual Belle of the Ball Prom Dress Collection
Eastern Massachusetts & Southern New Hampshire – Prom night may be the most important social event of high school; unfortunately it is also the most expensive. In this tough economy, families are wondering how they will afford a prom dress and all of the accessories that go along with it.
Anton’s Cleaners launched its 9th annual Belle of the Ball program on February 4th, with the mission to collect, clean and distribute prom gowns to area high school junior and senior girls who otherwise would not be able to attend their prom. Good quality, gently worn or new prom dresses and like-new special occasion purses are needed and can be dropped off at any of Anton’s Cleaners 41 locations or Jordan’s Furniture stores through April 1, 2013. All dresses are cleaned by Anton’s free of charge as a community service.
In mid-April, a boutique takes place at Simmons College in Boston, where the gymnasium is transformed into the ultimate prom dress ‘shopping’ experience. Last year, close to 2,000 dresses in a variety of colors, styles and sizes were displayed. Over 400 girls attended the boutique, enabling every young woman who participated to find a dress that was just right, free of charge.
“This [Belle of the Ball] made me feel like ‘the rest of the girls’ for the first time in my life,” said one of the high school recipients from the 2012 Boutique Day. Since attendance is by “invitation only,” students must be pre-qualified by guidance counselors, teachers and social service agency personnel, who refer high school girls to the program. To date, more than 2,300 girls have been outfitted since Belle of the Ball began in 2005.
“Belle of the Ball’s purpose is to make sure every girl who wants to attend her prom is able to obtain everything she needs for that memorable night, regardless of her ability to afford it,” says Arthur Anton Jr., COO, Anton’s Cleaners and founder of Belle of the Ball. “The goal of Belle of the Ball has always been to provide dresses and an exclusive shopping experience. We are thrilled to have such wonderful promotional partners on board this year including Jordan’s Furniture, JAM’N 94.5, FOX 25, KISS 108 and Wicked Local.”
Much like Anton’s highly successful Coats for Kids program, the collection effort will be coordinated with high schools, colleges, and corporate and community partners. Companies, organizations and schools interested in holding a prom dress collection drive, making an in-kind donation, or individuals looking to volunteer at the boutique can obtain more information at antons.com/belle.