Kenmore, NY (March 21, 2018)—The Colvin Cleaners Gowns for Prom program, presented by the Allstate Foundation has teamed with Reeds Jenss to ensure the 13 th annual program achieves its goal of providing every young lady in Western New York, who otherwise could not afford one, a perfectly altered and dry cleaned gown for her upcoming high school prom, Paul and Christopher Billoni of Colvin Cleaners announced today.
On Saturday, March 24 donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the following Reeds Jenss locations: 4001 Maple Road, Amherst 14226; 1401 Military Road, Niagara Falls, 14304; 3515 Abbott Road, Orchard Park, 14127. Billoni said those donating will not have to exit their vehicle as volunteers will take the new or gently used formal gowns, shoes and purses of any size from them.
“We are so grateful to Jeff Zimmer, owner of Reeds Jenss, who has been a long-time supporter of our Gowns for Prom and Coats for Kids programs for hosting this GOWN DRIVE on Saturday. Now that spring has arrived we encourage everyone to go through their closets to find gowns they will no longer use and drop them off Saturday at any of the Reeds Jenss locations,” says Paul A. Billoni, President and CEO of the 87 years young family dry cleaners. The three Reeds Jenss locations have Colvin Cleaners wrapped barrels inside their stores for the year round collection of gowns, coats and accessories for both programs. Year round collections are also taking place at Colvin Cleaners, 2375 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore; 40 Allstate Insurance
Agencies throughout Western New York; six Erie County Department of Motor Vehicles offices and inside Native Price Truck Plaza and Restaurant, 11359 Southwestern Blvd. in Irving.
Colvin Cleaners is in communication with nearly 90 high schools throughout Erie County and as far away as Batavia, Jamestown and Niagara county. The steady calls from young ladies and schools scheduling times to select a gown has led them to seek more donations, especially a big need for plus sized gowns, sizes 16 and up. Schools are encouraged to bring students together, possibly in a bus, so they are together selecting gowns and avoiding similar colors and styles. The donated gowns are sorted by size and transported to Shea’s Performing Arts Center for selection on April 9, 10 and 11 from 3-8:00 p.m. For each of the three days, Colvin Cleaners will have racks of thousands of new and donated gowns arranged on stage by size. The high school students select a gown and then are fitted upstairs in the stars’ dressing rooms by professional seamstresses. The gown is then altered, dry cleaned, packaged and delivered for free by Colvin Cleaners to the young ladies’ school in time for the prom.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Shea’s, a world-class historic theatre donating its stage and three floors of dressing rooms for three consecutive nights for 13 straight years,” says Paul Billoni. “Working with Tony Conti and now, Michael Murphy and their outstanding staff at Shea’s has been exceptional. The opportunity they are giving these young ladies to experience what it is like to be a star just adds to the luster of Gowns for Prom.”
“We are so grateful for everyone who donates gowns to this program because the smiles on the faces of these young high school students, who otherwise could not have afforded a prom gown, is priceless,” says Christopher A. Billoni, Vice President of Colvin Cleaners.
Volunteers, aged 18 and over, unless accompanied by a parent, are needed at Shea’s in the distribution and restocking of gowns and monitoring of the dressing rooms. Seamstresses and tailors to assist at Shea’s with alterations of the gowns, are also needed. For more information, or if you know of a young lady in need of a prom gown, visit www.gownsforprom.com. Gowns for Prom is a 501c3 under the Goodwill Industries of Western New York.