TEWSKBURY, Mass. — While social institutions and occasions like prom have been opening back up, some families will still need assistance so their children can take part in these events. For the 18th year, Anton’s Cleaners in Massachusetts, as a member of Caring Partners, is again taking part in the annual “Belle of the Ball” program and Boutique Day, a one-day culmination of New England’s largest and longest-running prom dress drive, running Feb. 7 through March 20.
Through the Belle of the Ball program, Caring Partners gathers donations from the public and from organizations, allowing high school junior and senior girls who might not otherwise be able to afford a prom dress to look their best on their big night. While the program was on hiatus last year, the 2022 season is again in full swing.
Since its beginning in 2005, the program has outfitted more than 5,500 girls, with more than $3 million in drycleaning services donated by Anton’s Cleaners during that time. Caring Partners runs the Belle of the Ball program with a simple motto: “Any girl who needs a prom dress will have one.”
“Life has thrown us many curveballs, but our mission remains the same: Every high school girl should have the experience of feeling beautiful,” says Arthur Anton Jr., COO of Anton’s Cleaners and a founder of Belle of the Ball. “Because of last year’s hiatus, we have the ability to help more deserving young women than ever before, thanks to our generous corporate partners, dress donors and volunteers.”
The Belle of the Ball prom gown collection culminates in an invitation-only “boutique” event where deserving and pre-qualified girls are invited for a day of personal shopping and pampering – a powerful personal experience. This year, more than 1,000 girls will be invited to enjoy Boutique Day at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, with thousands of dry cleaned prom dresses organized displayed by size, color and styles.
“We are so proud to continue our partnership with the Belle of the Ball program,” says corporate partner Eliot Tatelman, president of Jordan’s Furniture. “Our generous customers have donated thousands of dresses over the years to countless teens in need, and we invite them again to participate by bringing the dresses and gowns to any one of our stores. And I also look forward to returning to Belle of the Ball Boutique Day to see these girls transformed. Belle of the Ball truly changes lives, and we are proud to support this worthy cause since its inception.”
Enterprise Bank CEO Jack Clancy said he counts on his supportive team to put the company mission into action each year. “Proms are an exciting part of a high school experience,” Clancy says. “They can, however, be very expensive and for some a true financial burden. Our Enterprise Bank family is proud to make a positive difference in the lives of these girls right here, in the communities we serve.”
In addition to dress and accessory donations, monetary and in-kind donations are accepted to pay for jewelry, makeup and other accessories and prom-related services. Financial donations to Caring Partners, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, can be made at antons.com/belle.
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