Access expanded to serve area students

📸 Courtesy photos

SOUTHBRIDGE — The annual Prom Closet Project is underway with the help of community members Deb Mercure and Michelle Aronson, who have organized the elegant temporary boutique each year since its inception. At the boutique, students have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of dresses, formal wear, shoes, and accessories in preparation for prom.

In past years, the pop-up boutique has been exclusive to Southbridge students preparing for their prom. This year, boutique access will be expanded to students from any area town attending prom at a local high school. Gowns are provided on loan and free of charge. 

The Prom Closet Project draws on the strength of the local community and generous shared experience. Residents of Southbridge and surrounding towns are invited to donate new or gently used formalwear to the project, including dresses, formal shoes or purses, and other accessories.  

Donors of prom dresses or formalwear to the project have expressed that they appreciate the opportunity to pass along a dress that was worn only once, or possibly never worn, clearing space in their own closets. Many have expressed delight that a student going to prom will have the chance to enjoy and extend the life of these garments. 

The steady influx of students who make appointments to try on dresses in the boutique are also grateful for the Prom Closet Project. They experience a confidential and personalized experience by appointment at the yearly pop-up boutique. The boutique is set up in an upstairs room at the former high school at 25 Cole Avenue, with handicap access available.

Mercure and Aronson have an eye for setting up the boutique, which has all the features of a formalwear retail space: a three way mirror with elevated pedestal, private changing rooms, and an attractive display of formal shoes and accessories. The set-up promises to provide high school students with another year of confidential, personalized, and fun access to gowns in a traditional boutique setting.

Students can book an appointment to view and try on dresses at the boutique by contacting Mercure at dmercure@southbridgepublic.org or Aronson at maronson@baypath.net. Community members who are interested in contributing to The Prom Closet Project can drop off their donation of gently used, preferably on-trend dresses, shoes, formal purses, and accessories at either Jacob Edwards Library or Southbridge High School. Mercure also has some limited availability to pick up these items if needed.

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