It's almost that time of year when young high school ladies start thinking about their prom and what dress they might possibly wear to the big event. Well, for the 11th straight year, Colvin Cleaners of Kenmore is helping to make that choice a little easier and less stressful for these young women.
The 11th annual "Gowns For Prom," presented by Colvin Cleaners, is underway. The business will collect new and gently used gowns, shoes, purses and accessories through April 16. People can donate gowns at many locations throughout the area, including any of the seven Ted's Hot Dog locations, the three BAC for Women facilities, the Boulevard Mall, all Dash's Markets locations and, of course, Colvin Cleaners, located at 2375 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore.
"This is one of the most exciting and fun projects that we run all year, and we are so gratified to be able to help the young women of WNY," Colvin Cleaners owner and President Paul Billoni said.
After the prom gowns are collected at the various locations, they are then brought to Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, where young ladies can select from more than 4,000 gowns set up on stage. There will be a full staff for alterations, so each gown will fit perfectly.
There are three floors of changing rooms at Shea's, where the girls can try on their gowns while professional tailors measure the gowns on the girls for any alterations that need to be made.
"This is quite an experience for these girls to step onto the stage of beautiful Shea's and pick out a gorgeous gown, which will be tailored specifically for them" Billoni said.
After the alterations are made, the gowns are then cleaned and packaged for that "like-new look" for these prom queens. Best of all, it doesn't cost them or their parents anything. Colvin Cleaners provides all of these services for free.
Young ladies in need are encouraged to check with their school to see if they have a designated day assigned to them.
"Last year, we serviced more than 55 high schools and, over the last 11 years, we have collected over 22,000 gowns and distributed over 8,500 gowns to young ladies. Each year, this event becomes more successful because of the generosity of the people of Western New York" Billoni explained.
The prom gown distribution at Shea's is 3-8 p.m. April 18-20. If your school is not signed up already, you can sign up online at www.colvincleaners.com.