Cinderella’s Closet is filling up and has event committee member Samantha Theobald already tempted to buy this year’s stock. The 18 year old is hoping her pink sparkly grad dress

Cinderella’s Closet ‘turns dresses into dreams’

Charity night recycles gently-used dresses after February fashion show highlights the goods

Finding the perfect glass slipper fit can be a challenge, especially if there is a price tag attached to it.

But Cinderella’s Closet is adding ease to graduation or other special occasions with its third annual charity event that showcases gently used gowns under $300, and some which are free to the right home.

Local makeup artist Lisa Frisk is committed to creating memories for those less fortunate with a dream package delivered to students on a budget for the first time this year. The annual night, planned for Feb. 27, will now start with a makeover experience for select students, who’ll get their makeup and hair professionally done and a photo shoot to boot.

Frisk and fellow organizer Allison McCarthy, an annual giving coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society, are sorting through stock just collected at last week’s dress drive with a continued focus on gathering recycled gowns for the fashion show and dress sale that hits the stage at 4 p.m. that night. Relevant vendors, refreshments and treats will round out the evening at the Royal Canadian Legion in Trail, expected to wrap up by 6:30 p.m.

“When girls feel great about how they look, they have that extra bit of confidence and at that age you can be pretty fragile, and your confidence is a little rocky at times,” said Frisk.

“Graduation is a big milestone and to go into it feeling gorgeous and feeling confident … I think every girl deserves it, so why not help with that in a small way?”

Students don’t have to travel to find their dress anymore, as the “magical” night makes it an easy shopping option that isn’t intimidating and is all inclusive, she adds.

The fun event is an opportunity to sell, donate or buy unique, beautiful and affordable gowns, accessories and shoes for any occasion, really, with some finds even swiped up by women just looking for something to wear out dancing or to a wedding.

Playing fairy godmother started three years ago when Frisk decided she had the energy and drive to find a cause she was passionate about. The idea bloomed when she began to research online and realized the concept was borrowed across North America. While it was initially a challenge to spread the word locally, by now the community is pushing her to continue with the fundraiser.

Half the proceeds raised will go to the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society, 15 per cent is tagged for Crowe’s graduating class, and the remainder falls into an operating budget to ensure the cause carries over for many years to come. Last year brought in over $1,200 in total, but organizers are hoping to top up their goal this year to ensure proper storage of dresses that don’t sell and are held over for the next event.

“I think this is our year,” said Frisk. “I think it’s really going to start working the way I had envisioned it.”

Her brainchild not only supports grads in search for a one-of-a-kind affordable option but is also anticipated by those participating in the Trail Ambassador program. In fact, former Miss Trail Princess Samantha Theobold first took to the stage as a candidate modeling before finding her grad dress last year, when she also helped behind the scenes. This year the 18-year-old is working alongside organizers on a committee.

“I like the event in total in that it’s making grad that much easier for girls in our community, who may not be as fortunate as others,” she said.

Her enthusiasm has helped boost the event, which is making its rounds through the high school with grad council’s Jasmine Ross spreading the word. Money raised for the grad class last year went toward covering grad fees for students who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

This year’s focus is to “turn dresses into dreams” for juniors and seniors referred to the organization by a local school, community group or family and friends. To nominate a student, email cinderellasclosettrailbc@gmail.com.

Giving a dress new life by matching it to a new owner is an exciting and fun process, says Frisk. One of last year’s highlights included watching a young girl find a 100-year-old donated dress that fit like a glove. Other sparkly, puffy and glittery finds or even fun cocktail dresses also turned heads on the runway.

But before the magic unfolds, organizers are looking to fill the “closet.”

Those interested in either selling their dress and giving 50 per cent of the profit as a donation or donating the dress outright can contact Frisk at cinderellasclosettrailbc@gmail.com, text her at 250-231-5181 to arrange drop off or connect via the Facebook event page.

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