Clothing drive gives dresses and hope to girls in need

Alpha Phi Omega and Kappa Delta Pi will be holding their 3rd Annual Dress Drive on Sun. April 22.

This year, local middle school and high school girls from South Orange, Maplewood, Irvington and Newark are invited to shop for free prom dresses, shoes and accessories that are donated from Cache, Designer Loft, Just “B” and Fashion to Figure.

According to the president of APO, Lianne Messina, who has been running the dress drive for the past three years, said this year’s theme will be “Beauty is You.” The Jubilee Atrium will be decorated with butterflies and fun colors to go along with the theme.

“Since we are a service fraternity and education honors society, our goal is to offset the expensive cost of prom and give these girls an op­portunity to find the perfect dress and feel beautiful,” Messina said. “In return, they also learn how im­portant it is to help others.”

Messina said that the event start­ed out small and expanded greatly.

“I am so proud of all the work that has gone into it this year and so excited for the event to be here already.”

According to Messina, the plan­ning process started in late Janu­ary with a committee of about 25 people. Over 100 brand new dresses have been donated and many local hair, nail and florist businesses have donated gift cer­tificates as well.

“I was personally able to get 50 dresses from Cache corporate do­nated and they were so glad to do it.” Messina said.

Melissa Bonamici, an active brother in APO has been able to gather over 40 dresses for the drive as well.

“This will be my first dress drive and I’m going to be work­ing as a personal shopper help­ing the girls choose their perfect dress,”Bonamici said.

In addition every girl who at­tends will leave with a goodie bag filled with makeup, nail polish, and perfume samples. There will be professional hair and make up artists coming to do demonstra­tions for the girls.

“We want to make it really spe­cial,” Messina said. “We will also have a DJ who will be playing music to liven up the environment and make this day fun for all those involved.”

Bonamici echoed Messina’s statement, adding that she is look­ing forward to seeing the reaction from the attendees.

“I think seeing their excitement and happiness as they enjoy this time getting ready for their prom will really be the greatest benefit for everyone,” Bonamici said. “I am so excited for it.”

The deadline for dress dona­tions is Tuesday, April 17. Anyone wishing to contribute can do so by emailing

Rawan Eewshah can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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