Kenzie’s CLOSET®, the unique nonprofit organization in Cincinnati, Ohio that provides complete prom outfits for financially-
Young junior and senior high school women who have been referred to Kenzie’s CLOSET® from their school principal, counselor or social service agency will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime magical afternoon and select their complete prom outfit. On their scheduled ‘Shopping Day’, the students are greeted by a volunteer at Kenzie’s CLOSET who walks them through the process of selecting their perfect dress within the setting of a beautifully-
Through the generosity of a vibrant group of grassroots volunteers, individuals’
Jane Dorger, executive director of Kenzie’s CLOSET, commented, “the numbers of young women each year who count on the Kenzie’s CLOSET experience as the only opportunity to let them attend their high school prom – and feel like a queen for one night – grows every year. We have volunteers from every community and of every age who make this dream a reality for these girls. Some of our volunteers serve as ‘personal shopper guides’; others help with sewing and seamstress-type tasks; and there are many others who help us with sorting and stocking.”
Brynne Coletti, founder of the organization, remarked that she would never have dreamed that the idea for Kenzie’s CLOSET eight years ago would become such an integral nonprofit organization in the Greater Cincinnati community. “I am grateful for the inspiring contributions of so many who help us continue with this mission.”
Coletti never fails to be touched on each of the students’ shopping days. “I watch the transformation of the girls from the moment they shyly walk in the door at Kenzie’s CLOSET to the point when they meet their ‘personal assistant’. Once the girls have selected their prom dress, shoes, purse, jewelry, and wrap, and have received a photograph in their full outfit, a rose and a gift bag, it is a special moment. The change in the girls’ spirits brings tears to your eyes – and oftentimes, to theirs.”
During the 2012 prom season, approximately 500 girls were outfitted with representation from 52 area schools, and through the help of 250 volunteers. More than a third of the students who are outfitted at Kenzie’s CLOSET need prom dresses that are in sizes 14 and up. Executive Director Dorger explained that since the organization rarely receives donated dresses in those larger sizes, financial donations help make the dreams possible for students who need larger sizes. Appearance Plus Cleaners has donated dry cleaning services for many years to clean and press the new and gently-worn prom, bridesmaid, and cocktail dresses donated to Kenzie’s CLOSET.
Kenzie’s CLOSET was named after Makena ‘Kenzie’ Anne Comisar, who was tragically killed in a single-car accident in 2002 before she was able to attend her senior prom. Kenzie was a student at St. Ursula Academy in Cincinnati, and was known for her big heart and generosity.
Kenzie’s CLOSET® is active on social media, specifically on Pinterest, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
For information on how to volunteer, donate dresses and accessories, or offer financial support to Kenzie’s CLOSET®, please visit www.kenziescloset.org or call 513.533-PROM (513.533.7766)