2024 Prom Dress Collection Drive is a big winner

Mothers Trust Foundation, Zengeler Cleaners continue their partnership

For the 22nd year in a row, Zengeler Cleaners’ prom dress collection drive was a huge success, and that means continuing to provide opportunities for hundreds of area students to attend their proms.

The collection of lovingly worn dresses were donated by students at eight Northern Illinois high schools, patrons of the Vernon Area Township Library District and customers of Zengeler Cleaners, netting 5,387 dresses and hundreds of other items, including shoes, hats, scarves and formal wear accessories.

The dresses were distributed at “Pop Up Prom Shoppes,” held at the Grayslake Campus of the University Center of Lake County, hosted by Mothers Trust Foundation (MTF) of Lake Forest.

MTF staff and volunteers spent countless hours sorting the donations by size, color and style, then provided area high school students an opportunity to “shop” for the prom dress and accessories of their dreams at their Prom Shoppes, all at no cost to the students.

The program was designed to help those who may not otherwise be able to afford the cost of apparel to experience the pageantry and memories of their high school proms.

“Mothers Trust Foundation deserves all the credit for making our annual dress collection and distribution drive so successful again this year,” said Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners. “Their ability to recruit volunteers who can transform the donated items into a well-organized shopping event for local students is beyond amazing. The educational component MTF brings to this event, along with their collaboration with both the University Center of Lake County and the College of Lake County, makes it truly unique. With the support of these important local organizations, we are already looking forward to another successful event in 2025.”

This year’s Pop-up Prom Shoppes and educational opportunities were held the weekend of April 12-14. More than 450 students found dresses of their dreams, many who received a second dress, as well. Students also had an opportunity to participate in a variety of educational activities and learn about the college experience available at the University Center and the College of Lake County.

“It clearly takes a huge number of volunteers and an extraordinary amount of planning to assure the Pop Up Prom Shoppes and associated educational activities come off without a hitch,” continued Zengeler. “Mothers Trust Foundation has been an excellent partner, as they lead the effort with outstanding execution year after year. Together, we are committed to making next year’s event even better, and with that in mind, we’re already exchanging ideas to help make next year’s dress distribution weekend the best yet!”

Information about Mothers Trust Foundation is available at

For information about Zengeler Cleaners, contact Tom Zengeler at (847) 272-6550, ext. 14, or visit

Zengeler Cleaners’ stores are located in Deerfield, Long Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Winnetka, and two stores in Libertyville.

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