Although COVID-19 created a “new normal” for high school events, the search for the perfect prom dress is on and Belle of the Ball is back to ensure any girl who needs a prom dress can have one. For young women and their families who are struggling to put food on the table, prom dress shopping can be a crisis point and Caring Partners is here to help with the return of their annual “Belle of the Ball” and Boutique Day, a one-day culmination of New England’s largest and longest-running prom dress drive running February 7th through March 20th
Now in its 18th year including last year’s hiatus, Caring Partners’ “Belle of the Ball” prom dress drive transforms high school junior and senior girls through the generosity of donors, sponsors, and volunteers — true Caring Partners working toward one mission: any girl who needs a prom dress will have one.
Ways to help:
- DONATE A DRESS. Starting February 7th through March 20, simply drop off your good quality, gently worn prom dress (plus sizes appreciated) to any Anton’s Cleaners, Enterprise Bank, or Jordan’s Furniture location in eastern Massachusetts, southern NH, or RI. Anton’s Cleaners then cleans the donated prom dresses at no charge and distributes them to high school junior and senior girls who could not otherwise afford to attend their school’s prom. (See antons.com, jordans.com, or enterprisebanking.com for a location near you).
- ORGANIZE A DRIVE. Any organization interested in holding a prom dress collection drive, making an in-kind donation, or individuals looking to volunteer at the boutique can sign up online now at antons.com/belle. Any organization, neighborhood, or group can collect dresses and drop off themselves before March 20th at any Anton’s Cleaners, Jordan’s Furniture, or Enterprise Bank location.
- REFER A GIRL. For school administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, social service agencies, or clergy members seeking to refer a high school junior or senior girl in need, referrals are welcome online only with a deadline of March 16th: Register a Student. Belle of the Ball also provides flyers to share with your organization: Promotional Materials
- DONATE. Monetary donations are also welcome through the website to cover the cost of new shoes and accessories.
- VOLUNTEER. Caring individuals are invited to register by March 11th to assist with personal shopping, registration, event setup/breakdown, and other related tasks.
BOUTIQUE DAY: 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, over 1000 girls will be invited to enjoy Boutique Day at the Hynes Convention Center, with thousands of dry cleaned prom dresses organized displayed by size, color, and styles. Monetary and in-kind donations are needed to pay for jewelry, makeup, and other accessories and prom-related services: visit antons.com/belle to make a financial donation. Caring Partners, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
According to Arthur Anton Jr., COO, Anton’s Cleaners, and a founder of Belle of the Ball, “Life has thrown us many curveballs, but our mission remains the same: every high school girl should have the experience of feeling beautiful. Because of last year’s hiatus, we can help more deserving young women than ever before, thanks to our generous corporate partners, dress donors, and volunteers.”
“We are so proud to continue our partnership with the Belle of the Ball program! 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,” said corporate partner Eliot Tatelman, President of Jordan’s Furniture. “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 banks on his supportive team to put the company mission into action each year. According to Clancy, “Proms are an exciting part of a high school experience. 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.”
Over the years, girls have shared final prom dress photos and written to the program with transformative stories, describing the impact Belle of the Ball has had not only as a clothing drive but the positive change in the way they felt about themselves. To date, over 5,500 girls have been outfitted since Belle of the Ball began in 2005, with over $3M in dry cleaning services donated by Anton’s since the program’s inception.
For more information about Caring Partners’ Belle of the Ball, visit antons.com/belle.