The 12th annual "Gowns For Prom" program, sponsored by Colvin Cleaners and presented by Allstate, is seeking donations of new or gently used formal gowns, shoes and accessories of any size. These items are cleaned by Colvin Cleaners and provided free of charge to young ladies in area high schools who are unable to afford a prom gown.
The collection runs from Feb. 27 through March 31 at drop-off locations (including several local Allstate agencies) listed HERE (PDF).
The donated gowns are sorted by size and transported to Shea's Performing Arts Center for selection from 3-8 p.m. on April 4-6. Colvin Cleaners will have thousands of donated gowns, so new gowns will be on stage each day. The high school students select a gown and then are fitted by professional seamstresses. The gown is then altered, dry cleaned, packaged and delivered for free to the young ladies' school in time for the prom.
"We are so grateful for everyone who has donated gowns over the years, because the smiles on the faces of thousands of high school students, who otherwise could not have afforded a prom gown, is priceless," said Paul Billoni, owner and president of Colvin Cleaners.
Volunteers, ages 18 and up, unless accompanied by a parent, are needed at Shea's in the distribution and restocking of gowns and monitoring of the dressing rooms. Seamstresses and tailors, to assist at Shea's with alterations of the gowns, are also needed. For more information, or if you know of a young lady in need of a prom gown, visit www.gownsforprom.com.
"Gowns for Prom" is a 501(c)(3) under the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and WNY Inc.
Sponsors include Reeds Jenss, Delta Sonic Car Wash, Colvin Draperies, Casullo's Automotive, EMS Group, HUNT Real Estate ERA, M&T Bank, Safelite AutoGlass, SuedeMaster, Tschopps Dry Cleaning and Laundry Supply, Tuxedo Junction, Vanner Insurance Agency, Watson's Chocolates and West Herr Automotive Group.
Janet Snyder of WKSE-FM "KISS" 98.5 is the official spokesperson of "Gowns for Prom."
About Colvin Cleaners
An 86-years-young company, Colvin Cleaners was founded by Phil Billoni. His brothers, Tony and Santo, worked in the business for more than 50 years. Tony's son, Paul, has worked there for 40 years. His son, Christopher, is vice president.