Hempstead, NY – May 15, 2012 – The Long Island Volunteer Center (LIVC) hosted its 18th annual Prom Boutique at two Nassau County locations this spring, providing over 1,500 local students with the opportunity to obtain new dresses for their graduations or proms. This year’s event was the largest in Prom Boutique history.
Working in conjunction with Nassau Community College Marketing & Fashion students, LIVC hosted the first Prom Boutique at the College on Saturday, April 28. A second event was held on Saturday, May 12 at the Family & Children’s Association Hagedorn Family Resource Center in Hempstead. Over 53 high school guidance counselors and at-risk youth agencies referred students whose families could not easily absorb the expense of a new gown to the events.
“The Prom Boutique began in the spring of 1995 with a mother’s simple wish to give her daughter a dress for her prom without breaking the family’s tight budget. In that first year, we were able to provide 35 young women with dresses. Through the years, the Prom Boutique has helped thousands of students obtain outfits of their choosing for their special day,” said Diana O’Neill, Executive Director of LIVC. “It is truly a life-changing event – not only for the students but for the volunteers as well.”
Now in its 18th year, the Prom Boutique was formed with the simple premise that a happy occasion such as a prom or graduation should not place a huge financial burden on a young woman’s family. At the Prom Boutique, students receive a complete outfit, including dress, shoes, handbag, jewelry and make-up, for free. The Prom Boutique is by invitation only and is handled in a manner that respects the young women’s privacy and dignity.
“The high school prom and graduation are milestone events in a young woman’s life. The Prom Boutique is a way for Long Islanders to help local students celebrate these occasions with a beautiful outfit that they would otherwise be unable to obtain,” said Anne Sprotte, co-chair of the Prom Boutique.
LIVC mobilized a team of over 500 volunteers to assist with gown collection, sorting, event set up, boutique staffing and guest coordination. Volunteers included students from Nassau Community College fashion, marketing and visual merchandising classes and the Mineola High School Volunteer Center; service organizations such as The Transition Network and Soroptimist International of Long Island; faith-based organizations including the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Temple Beth Am;and youth organizations such as Nassau County Girl Scouts and Huntington YMCA. Volunteer seamstresses also provided their expertise to properly fit the gowns for the students.
“The Long Island Prom Boutique would not have been possible without the support of the nearly thirty local businesses and organizations who generously donated their time and resources to make it a special day that these deserving girls will not forget,” said Lana Gluck, co-chair of the Prom Boutique.
The 18th annual event was made possible through the contributions of State Farm Insurance Companies, JP Morgan Chase Volunteer Matching Program, The Glass Family Foundation, and friends of the Long Island Volunteer Center.
About The Long Island Volunteer Center
Created in 1992 to improve the quality of life for all Long Islanders, the Long Island Volunteer Center is a nonprofit organization that encourages people to engage in service to their communities and mobilizes volunteers and donations to support community service initiatives.
For more information, contact the Long Island Volunteer Center at (516) 564-5482 or visit www.longislandvolunteercenter.org .