“Cinderella’s Closet” is a resource for local young ladies and gentleman to dress up for those rare, formal dances: homecoming and prom. The closet contains gowns in numerous sizes, suits, dress pants, shoes, ties, jewelry and make-up. It is overseen by Melody Fessler and is located at the Rose Avenue Community Center, 412 Rose Ave., Washington Court House.
There are specific days that the young ladies and gentlemen can come in, try on clothes and decide what they want to wear for their dance. This outfit is not given away but borrowed for the special event. The outfit is returned the Monday following the dance.
Clothes are mended and dry-cleaned after every use. Make-up is the only item not returned: every person that takes makeup from the closet receives the make-up in new condition and gets to keeps it.
The closet welcomes donations, which can be dropped off from 2 to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. They accept dresses, suits, pants, shoes, ties, new makeup, jewelry and garment bags. Joyce Southward, one of the ladies who has assisted with the closet for three years, explained that garment bags are highly useful; they help keep clothes in good condition and are nicer than trash bags for the young persons to carry their outfits in.
Southward said they helped approximately 23 ladies for homecoming and 18-19 ladies for prom last year. They didn’t have as many gentleman come in, but Southward explained, “When it comes to prom, the tuxes are so much more expensive. They can just come in here and find a full suit that works just as good as a tux.”
Prom for Washington High School is scheduled for May 4, and prom for Miami Trace High School is scheduled for April 27. The closet isn’t limited to just girls in Fayette County though. According to Southward, girls are welcome from all surrounding areas: including Hillsboro and Greenfield. She recalled one person who came from an hour away last year.
“They can’t afford to go and everybody should have a chance to go,” Southward said. “That’s why we keep [the dresses] in good shape, and clean, and try to keep as many as possible in different sizes so that we have one for everybody.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or @kenanipel