NORTHBROOK, Ill. — With planning for spring high school proms getting underway, a northern Illinois dry cleaner is playing a part, as it has for the last quarter century, in helping young women look their best for the event.
Zengeler Cleaners stores are accepting donations for the annual 2023 prom dress collection drive, along with formal wear items such as shoes, purses, jewelry and other accessories.
“The prom dress collection drive was born about 25 years ago with the goal of helping high school women experience the joy of prom, even if the cost of dresses and accessories might have otherwise prevented them from attending,” says Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners. “For the past two decades, we’ve teamed up with northern Illinois high schools, whose students donate previously worn dresses to distribute to students at no charge. This program has allowed tens of thousands of women to attend their proms, many of whom wouldn’t have been able to afford to do so without this program.”
Zengeler Cleaners partners with Mothers Trust Foundation (MTF) of Lake Forest to distribute the donated items to area students. MTF volunteers serve as “personal shoppers” who assist students in selecting their dream apparel from a vast selection of dresses and accessories at their annual “Pop-up Prom Shoppes.”
This year, the Prom Shoppes will be held March 11 and 12 at University Center of Lake County and are open to all high school students with a valid school ID. The weekend also features educational opportunities, including tours of the campuses of both University Center and College of Lake County.
All donated items are cleaned and inspected, then repaired as needed, by Zengeler Cleaners, to make sure the dresses are “prom-ready.” MTF volunteers sort the dresses by size, style and color in advance of the Pop-up Prom Shoppes, assuring the shopping experience is as smooth and easy as possible for students.
“Zengeler Cleaners is very excited to partner with Mothers Trust Foundation,” Zengeler says. “Support for the dress collection drive has grown steadily through the years, not only from local schools and non-profit organizations, but even our customers, who often purchase brand new dresses to include with the other donations. It’s great to see so many people come together to help make the dream of prom come true for thousands of northern Illinois students.”
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].