NORTHBROOK, Ill. — For most high schools, prom planning begins when spring comes on the horizon. To make sure everyone who wants to attend prom is able to look their best, Zengeler Cleaners has partnered with Mothers Trust Foundation (MTF) for the past two decades to gather donations for their annual prom dress collection drive. In addition to dresses, the drive also collects formal wear accessories such as shoes, purses and jewelry.
Zengeler and MTF distribute these donated items to students who are otherwise unable to afford to attend their high school proms. MTF volunteers serve as “personal shoppers” who assist students in selecting their dream apparel from a vast selection at their annual “Pop Up Prom Shoppes,” all at no charge.
This year, the Prom Shoppes will be held April 13 and 14 at the University Center of Lake County and are open to Lake County 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.
“The educational component Mothers Trust Foundation has arranged in cooperation with the University Center and CLC make this program truly unique,” says Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners. “Students attending the event can learn about continuing education opportunities, potential scholarships and how to apply for financial aid. For students who are not college-bound, career counseling is also available during the events. Combined with the opportunity to look your very best at prom, we believe this is the premier event of the season.”
For more than 20 years, Zengeler Cleaners has partnered with many northern Illinois high schools whose students donate previously worn dresses and accessories to distribute to students attending the Pop Up Prom Shoppes. This program has allowed tens of thousands of women to attend their proms, a goal that would be out of reach financially without this program.
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.
“Support for the dress collection drive from local schools and non-profit organizations has grown steadily through the years,” says Zengeler. “Even our customers are now involved, many of whom purchase and donate brand new dresses. It’s great to see so many people come together to help make the dream of prom come true.”
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