Annual Prom Dress Collection Drive is a Huge Success

  • Area students had thousands of options to choose from as they searched for their perfect prom dress at the 2023 Pop-up Prom Shoppes hosted by Mothers Trust Foundation.

    Area students had thousands of options to choose from as they searched for their perfect prom dress at the 2023 Pop-up Prom Shoppes hosted by Mothers Trust Foundation.

Updated 5/3/2023 8:40 AM

Zengeler Cleaners and Mothers Trust Foundation Partnership Scores Big Win

Submitted by John Coxon


Zengeler Cleaners' annual prom dress collection drive resulted in another huge success this year as prom season returned to its pre-pandemic format at most local high schools. The drive netted thousands of previously worn dresses from students and Zengeler Cleaners customers, along with donations to the Vernon Area Township Library District and from other benefactors, resulting in a total of 6,448 dresses and hundreds of other items, including shoes, jewelry, purses and formal wear accessories.

This year's drive supported the increasingly popular "Pop Up Prom Shoppe" hosted by Mothers Trust Foundation (MTF) of Lake Forest at the University Center of Lake County's (UCLC) Grayslake campus. The program creates opportunities for those who may not otherwise be able to afford the cost of prom apparel. After sifting through thousands of dresses, MTF volunteers sorted them by size, then provided area high school students an opportunity to "shop" for the prom dress and accessories of their dreams - all at no cost to the students.

"Mothers Trust Foundation provided a wonderful service for high school women," said Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners. "Our company is extremely happy to work with an organization that continues to provide opportunities for students in Lake County. Mothers Trust Foundation has expanded this concept beyond just a dress giveaway by providing an educational component in conjunction with the University Center of Lake County and the College of Lake County. This program is destined to continue to grow in the coming years."

This year's Pop Up Prom Shoppe and educational opportunities were held the weekend of March 11 and 12; 688 students from 34 area high schools were able to find the dress of their dreams, with nearly 1,500 total dresses selected by those attending the event. 92 students took advantage of the High School VIP Day, where they received a taste of the college experience at UCLC and CLC. The event was supported by hundreds of volunteers, many of whom were also students at local schools.

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"Mothers Trust Foundation is proud to partner with Zengeler Cleaners, University Center of Lake County and College of Lake County to spread the knowledge of post high school options and the joy of prom with the youth in our community," said Marly Subido, office and events manager at Mothers Trust Foundation. "It truly is more than a dress - it's furthering education and building confidence, all while participating in a lifetime high school memory. It's a full heart and happy tears."

More 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 Libertyville.

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