"Countless Dresses, Countless Memories" to Benefit Area High School Students

Long Branch, NJ - Family & Children's Service (FCS), Monmouth County's oldest non-profit social service agency, is currently seeking donations of new and gently used formal wear and formal accessories for its annual Prom event, "Countless Dresses, Countless Memories."  The weeklong event, which begins Saturday, April 2, and runs through the following Saturday, April 9, is designed to give high school students the chance to shop for stylish and affordable prom and cotillion attire in a friendly and festive environment. Now in its second year, this year's event will be held in the special "Prom Boutique" set up within the agency's Long Branch Thrift Boutique.

"Shopping for Prom should be a happy and memorable experience, but unfortunately, that's not always the case," says FCS President & CEO Vincent L. D'Elia.  "Many students lack the financial resources to purchase formal wear, especially in a tight economy. We wanted to give these students the same opportunity to shop for the dress of their dreams in a normal retail environment, in the company of their friends and family, but without the stress of a high price tag."

Shoppers who visit the Thrift Boutique during the week of "Countless Dresses, Countless Memories" can purchase a prom gown or dress for $15, or they can purchase a complete ensemble, including dress, shoes and accessories, for just $20. All proceeds raised will go directly toward Family and Children's Services programs and services.

To ensure the success of this year's event, the agency is asking local merchants, businesses, organizations and families for help in collecting and donating items for the sale, including: new or gently used formal gowns and dresses in all sizes, formal shoes and sandals, formal purses and clutches, jewelry and hair accessories. All monetary donations will be used to purchase additional items for the sale.

To sponsor a collection at your organization or place of business, download a flyer from our website at http://www.fcsmonmouth.org/news/PromBoutique2011.htm

Donations will also be accepted through Saturday, March 26, at the FCS Thrift Boutique at 307 Branchport Avenue in Long Branch or at the agency's headquarters at 191 Bath Avenue in Long Branch. For more information, contact Samantha White, Manager of Volunteer Services at (732) 222-9111 extension 152. If you are interested in donating monetary gifts or gifts in kind, please contact FCS's Director of Development, Diane Gribbin, at (732)

222-9111 extension 134.