Zengeler Cleaners joins two groups for annual prom dress collection

  • Oscar Gonzalez loads donated dresses collected by Zengeler Cleaners during a previous year's Prom Dress Collection Drive.

    Oscar Gonzalez loads donated dresses collected by Zengeler Cleaners during a previous year's Prom Dress Collection Drive. Courtesy of Zengeler Cleaners

Updated 11/15/2021 10:32 AM

As the world emerges from the pandemic that has interrupted our lives since early 2020, activities are gradually getting back to normal, including school proms.

With that in mind, Zengeler Cleaners announced it will once again collect prom dresses and accessories this winter, partnering with both Mothers Trust Foundation of Lake Forest and the Glass Slipper Project (GSP) in Chicago to distribute the dresses to high school girls who otherwise could not afford to experience the joy of prom.


"After connecting with local schools, almost all are hoping to normalize their schedules and calendars, including prom," said Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners.

"Prom is one of those events students remember for many, many years beyond high school. Mothers Trust, Glass Slipper and Zengeler Cleaners want to ensure that the cost of a prom dress isn't the reason someone cannot attend. With the generous donations of former students and our wonderful customers, we'll be able to eliminate that obstacle for thousands of students."

The Glass Slipper Project began collecting and distributing prom apparel more than 20 years ago, with their efforts supported by Zengeler Cleaners since 2003. Each spring, GSP hosts two to three "shopping boutiques," where "personal shoppers" help students select their perfect dress.

Mothers Trust Foundation began a similar program several years ago, which evolved into their "Pop-up Prom Shop" distribution center at the College of Lake County in 2019. Both organizations are eager to get their programs back on schedule next spring. Exact dates, times and locations will be announced in the coming months.

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Zengeler Cleaners provides several services for the dress collection drive. In addition to working with a number of North suburban high schools to solicit donations from local students, their stores also serve as collection points for donations from individuals and businesses.

Zengeler Cleaners then inspects, repairs as needed, and cleans the donated items -- all at no cost to MTF and GSP.

Additional information about Glass Slipper Project can be found at glassslipperproject.org.

Learn more about Mothers Trust Foundation at motherstrustfoundation.org.

For information about Zengeler Cleaners, contact Tom Zengeler at (847) 272-6550, ext. 14, or visit zengelercleaners.com. Zengeler Cleaners' stores are in Northbrook, Deerfield, Hubbard Woods, Northfield, Winnetka, Long Grove and two stores in Libertyville.

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