May 17, 2022

The Westfield Voice

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Spring Cleaning Formalwear Drive on Campus!

3 min read

(Photo: Delaney Gembis)

 

Get your dancing shoes ready, because prom season is upon us! The Student Government Association is sponsoring a dress drive on campus to assist local high school girls in need of a gown for the special occasion. From now until March 28, SGA will be collecting gently worn prom and party dresses, evening gowns, shoes, and accessories including clutches and jewelry. This drive gives girls the chance to experience prom the way that every teenager should be able to.

Members of the Community Relations/Fundraising committee at WSU wanted to help West Springfield High School with the prom dress initiative that they began two years ago out of a space known as the Terrier Closet.

“The Terrier Closet is open all school-year long and has many donated items such as hygiene products, clothing, school supplies, backpacks, and coats. The closet has been open for about seven years now and has grown! The prom dress initiative has been a huge success in the past,” described Kelli Quigley, the school’s adjustment counselor.

Sarah Mikel, a West Springfield High School graduate, created the Terrier Closet as a senior project in 2011. Once Mikel graduated, Quigley assumed the role of the coordinator of the closet. She has also enSpring Cleaning Formalwear Drive on Campus! Marissa Cremin Voice Contributor gaged students from the Reconnecting Youth Program to help keep the initiative alive.

Quigley manages the Terrier Closet with the help of dedicated student interns and volunteers. Many students have benefited from the work that they do, and enjoy the opportunity to get involved at their school. Students described that working with the Terrier Closet has helped them to understand how important it is to be grateful for what you have.

“I have enjoyed interacting with students and giving them an opportunity to be able to help their peers. Students report a strong intrinsic and meaningful reward taking part,” says Quigley.

She is happy to have had the opportunity to work with such a passionate group of individuals on an initiative that has benefited hundreds of students with things such as hygiene products, school supplies, gowns, and clothing.

The Community Relations/Fundraising committee is working hard to promote the initiative on campus and reach as many people as possible before spring break.

“We figured that March would be the best time for the dress drive. When people go home for spring break, they will have a chance to clear out the back of their closets and find dresses and accessories to bring back. I know that there’s dresses in my closet I haven’t touched in years that I would love to let a girl wear for prom!” explained Mackenzie Deminico, Community Relations/ Fundraising Representative to the Class of 2018.

“It’s such an important drive because every girl should be able to go to prom without having to worry about the costs involved,” said committee member Kendall Dunbar.

Deminico agreed that the anonymity of the project is one of the reasons that it seems to work so effectively.

“Many girls might feel embarrassed to come and pick out a dress, feeling like they’re being judged. No one should have to feel like that, and that’s the beauty of this project. Giving girls the choice of making it anonymous is such a great way they can be confident and comfortable,” Deminico added.

Quigley has big plans for the future of the prom dress initiative. This year she wants to reach out to local high schools and invite students to take advantage of the Terrier Closet. She plans to organize with other high school counselors in the area to reach the surrounding school districts.

“We would like to accept monetary donations or gift cards to be able to obtain specific items that we do not have that students may need,” she added.

So what are you waiting for? It is time for some spring-cleaning! You have until March 28 to clear out your closet and find any potential dresses, shoes, and/or accessories that you might be willing to donate. All donations can be dropped off in the Student Government Association Room in the garden level of Ely or in Parenzo 108.

After the deadline, members of SGA will bring all items to West Springfield High School. Please help SGA support such a great cause!

If you have and questions about the dress drive, please email [email protected]

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