Donated dresses brighten prom for thousands

April 09 [Wed], 2014, 15:59
This year the Glass Slipper Project is getting some extra help.

Zengler Cleaners has collected donated dresses at its eight suburban locations and will bring 6,000 additional dressesDiscount Wedding dresses for sale to Price Elementary on Saturday, assuring that there will be fresh options for the girls who don't make it out on the first Saturday.USAgain, a Chicago-based clothing recycling pany, also helped collect 3,000 dresses and will recycle all the dresses that aren't picked off the racks and that the Glass Slipper Project doesn't want to hold onto for next year.

"USAgain last year started hosting a dress giveaway and this year we decided to join forces," said Scott Burnham, a spokesman for the pany, adding that it was a natural fit for the pany.The event will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for three Saturdays starting this weekend.

Carter said once a girl is inside, it usually takes about two hours to pick out a dress, shoes, makeup and accessories.More than 4,000 prom dresses made their way from Northbrook to a disadvantaged area of Chicago Saturday morning -- the result of donations made by suburban students, businesses and civic organizations throughout the past year.As it has since 1999, Zengeler Cleaners' Northbrook headquarters took responsibility for gathering,Tulle strapless applique beaded ball gown wedding/party dress storing, repairing, cleaning and ultimately delivering the dresses to Price School on South Drexel in Chicago.Taffeta sweatheat beaded Embroidery wedding dressesBeginning Saturday and again on April 12 and 26, the Glass Slipper Project hosts a boutique at which girls from low-i e families can pick out a free dress that fits their size and style.Also making the trip this year were 100 pairs of dress shoes and 800 purses.

Tom Zengeler, owner of Zengeler Cleaners, said delivery day is always its own reward for a year's worth of work on the dresses.

"Many of these girls are in sweatpants and sweatshirts and have never even worn a dress," Zengeler said. "There's girls in tears. There's a lot of joy."Though this is the 16th year he's been involved with the project, Zengeler has never sent so many dresses at once. Though planning to send three of his pany's vans, including a double-sized one, he realized right at the end that an entire fourth one was necessary.Zengeler, his 13-year-old daughter Lauren and about seven employees took more than an hour to move all the dresses from the store to the vans.