South Brunswick – complete with a red carpet, red ropes, a Hollywood skyline – and even some “paparazzi” – a Viking Closet prom dress event at South Brunswick High School offered girls from the area the opportunity to feel beautiful before prom.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 19, “VIPS” (students) were able to view hundreds of dresses that were sorted and sized, said Carlo Garcia, a social worker at the school, which is also a Viking Closet adviser.
The girls were able to try on as many dresses as they wanted and then literally went to the runway, she said.
“Members of the Viking Closet Club worked hard for several months to hold the event after failing to hold the event for two years. We had music, free sweepstakes, jewelry, shoes and pockets. “The VIPs who were present could” buy “a full prom, and it’s all free,” she said.
The annual event was open to students from South Brunswick as well as school districts in the area such as New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Heathstown, West Windsor and South River.
“We had about 70 students, 58 of whom left with dresses, many with two dresses. For starters we had over 800 dresses, all of which were lovingly donated by community members.
“We had several parents who attended with their young adults. The comments were: “I have goosebumps. This is such a special day for my daughter.” “I cried when I saw how happy my daughter was in the dress she found. Thank you very much for today. ‘ “My daughter was able to attend the event this morning. Let me just say: thank you, thank you, thank you for the opportunity to go to the event. She found the dress she had dreamed of. My little one said the dress she found exceeded her expectations. I am a single mother of four and worried that I would not be able to see her smile as she prepares for prom. I will share this experience with everyone I know. I appreciate the invitation and thank you very much for making it possible. ” «
The purpose of the event was twofold, Garcia said: to help students find the perfect dress and recycle it by not allowing the dress to landfill.
There were no financial requirements to participate in the event. Participants were allowed to donate either food to the South Brunswick Food Chamber, or a monetary donation to offset the cost of future events, she said.
Garcia said Lola’s biggest business sponsor is in Manalapan.
“This is the second year in a row that Melanie, the owner of Lola’s, has donated more than 30 new dresses with tags. She is really amazing because she sees the magic that this event spreads to students, ”she said.
Garcia said she and co-advisor Rosa Mariano-Brandao could no longer be proud of the club members.
“We have an amazing executive board that has shown such great leadership in coordinating the reopening of the Viking Cabinet. We are a free clothing store located in South Brunswick High School, and after closing almost two years the closet is reopened for business. We have seasonally appropriate clothing for students that can be purchased during lunch and after school.
“The clothes are again donated by the community, and the things we received during the school year were impressive. Many subjects come new with tags and it was a good time to study for our students. They will shop in amazement and ask why someone is giving away these items when they are practically or really brand new. We help students understand that although the tastes and sizes of donors may have changed as a result of the donation, returning home and loving clothes are good for everyone, ”Garcia said.
This year the office of Senator Andrew Zwicker, of The 16th Legislative District of New Jersey – Zwicker is also a resident of South Brunswick – organized a winter coat trip for the Viking wardrobe, resulting in the donation of 13 new wardrobe coats.
Follow the Viking closet on Instagram @SBHSVikingCloset to find out about upcoming events.