Spring is upon us and that means prom season is set to occupy the thoughts of Long Island teenagers. Since 1995, Roslyn-based The Junior League has held an annual Prom Boutique. During that time, the league has asked Long Islanders “to band together and rid their closets and drawers of unneeded fancy dresses, shoes and accessories.”
This year was no different as thousands of Long Islanders donated needed—and attractive—items to drop-off stations all across Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The Long Island Volunteer Center, in conjunction with Nassau Community College, coordinates the collection and distribution of new and gently-used prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses and accessories to assist thousands of young Long Island women who cannot absorb expenses associated with not just the prom, but also awards ceremonies or graduation.
“The program is made available at no cost through the outreach efforts of high school guidance counselors, at-risk youth agencies, group homes, churches and other community organizations that benefit youth,” a league spokesman said. “Nearly 100 area businesses, numerous local organizations and hundreds of individuals volunteer their time and provide necessary funding and resources annually.”
The program, as noted, was started in 1995, when 35 volunteers at the Junior League began collecting
needed items. In 1999, the Long Island Volunteer Center began coordinating the event. Since its inception, the boutique has assisted 20,000 young women. In addition, 150 school and nonprofit youth organizations and 500 businesses have participated through volunteer work and through contributions. For this year’s drive, organizers hope to assist up to 3,500 young women, with the help of 300 volunteers, 65 schools and nonprofit youth organizations and 90 businesses.
Organizers said that this year’s event was made possible with funding from Austern’s Antiques, Cliffco Mortgage Bankers and a collaboration between Weight Watchers and the Junior League.