Thanks to Battiston's in Avon and donors like you, many prom-bound Connecticut girls in adoptive and foster families, don't require fairy tale magic to feel like they are in a fairy tale because of donors who work their own magic to help provide dresses for the ball, or in this case prom.
The Connecticut Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents is hosting its fourth annual Avenue of Dreams Prom Dress, Make-up and Accessory Drive. Battiston's, a dry cleaning store, has offered to not only be a collection site, but to also wash prom dresses that the drive organizers and individual donors bring to its Avon location on Route 44.
“It’s really a relief because some of the families, they might not be able to go through a cleaner’s," Kareemah Muhammad, outreach coordinator for the association, said. "We don’t want the girls trying on dresses that are dirty."
The association is asking for donations of new or gently used dresses (sizes 0 to 24 and up), shoes (sizes 4 to 11 and up) and accessories like jewelry, necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, tiaras, decorative hair pins, clip and clutch purses. Other requested donations include new and unopened makeup (lip gloss, lip stick, mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush and nail polish) and hair/body products (body wash, deodorant, perfume, shavers/shaving cream, shampoo/conditioner and hairstyling products).
New and gently used dresses will ensure that the girls "don't have the impression that they are hand-me-down," Muhammad said. Having Battiston's clean the dresses helps rids them of any odors or stains and saves thousands of dollars.
Last year, the association collected nearly 800 dresses and donated the leftover gowns to high schools.
The drive closes with an event on March 15 in Haddam for the girls to peruse the dresses, get professional photos taken, get their hair and makeup done and there will also be henna artists and Zumba. Muhammad said that the organizers are also looking for people to volunteer to do hair and makeup at the event.
“We want to make sure each girl gets the lovely dress of her choice," Muhammad said.
The association is collecting donations through Feb. 28. Fairytales Formal Wear in Glastonbury has already donated dresses.
Drive drop-off sites include Battiston's at 369 West Main St. in Avon; the association's headquarters at 2189 Silas Deane Highway, Rocky Hill 06067 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday; The Perfect Promotion at 801 Farmington Ave in West Hartford, YWCA in New Britain and Hartford, Paul Mitchell The School at 97 Washington Avenue in North Haven, Wright Movez Zumba Fitness at 109 Boston Post Road in Orange and Dazzle Boutique at 116 Scott Rd in Waterbury.
If you are going to drop items off at the association's office in Rocky Hill, Muhammad asks that you call ahead at 860-258-3400.