Princess for a day

REEDSVILLE – Church Hill United Methodist Church has transformed its basement into a prom extravaganza for the fifth consecutive year. Starting in February, young ladies will once again be invited to the church’s Cinderella’s Closet to search for the perfect prom dress.

Cinderella’s Closet works to provide girls with the chance to be princesses for a day. Kathy Macchiaverna began Cinderella’s Closet in 2008 to help girls lower the cost of prom season and other special occasions.

Macchiaverna began Cinderella’s Closet after hearing radio ads about a similar non-profit dress closet located in Williamsport. She noticed that her household had accumulated a large number of dresses from her daughters’ past proms that are now unused. Macchiaverna wanted to be able to help girls who are unable to afford their own dresses, whether it be for prom, senior dinner dance or any other event.

People from Mifflin County and surrounding areas are able to come to Cinderella’s Closet and select a dress, free of charge. Cinderella’s Closet offers girls a wide selection of dresses in a variety of fabrics, colors and styles. Sometimes the closet even acquires brand new and vintage dresses from the 1950s. Macchiaverna said Cinderella’s Closet is open to anyone, for any occasion, with no exclusions.

“Every girl should be able to have a gown they feel beautiful in,” Macchiaverna said.

The reaction of those who attend Cinderella’s Closet is that it is an amazing experience, she said. Macchiaverna said many girls are

surprised at the selection available to them. Many are dazzled by the assortment of beaded dresses, fluffy taffeta ball gowns and short flirty styles available. She said all of the dresses carried by Cinderella’s Closet are very current.

More than 200 girls select dresses from the assortment every year with the help of Cinderella’s Closet volunteers Timi Narehood, Nancy Mowery and Katie Mowery.

“It is a very pleasant experience,” Macchiaverna said.

There are changing areas for girls to try on any dresses they desire. Family members are able to help them choose a dress with the help of floor length mirrors that are set up in the basement of the church.

The organization is always in need of additional gowns, especially in larger sizes in both new and used condition. Anyone can donate dresses to Cinderella’s Closet.

The church also provides mending and cleaning for used dresses. Deb Reigle volunteers time to do light mending on used gowns and Sally Riden puts new zippers on many of the dresses that are donated. During its three years in existence, Cinderella’s Closet has given away more than 700 dresses.

Macchiaverna said running Cinderella’s Closet is a blessing. Many of the volunteers enjoy running the closet as much as the girls who take dresses home. She said all of the volunteers feel wonderful to provide this service to people.

“He laid it on my heart to do this,” Macchiaverna said. “For as long as there is a need, I want to continue to do this.”

Cinderella’s Closet will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays and Thursdays, Feb. 3 to March 24. Volunteers are also willing to work around schedules for girls who are unable to shop during regular hours.

Cinderella’s Closet is always in need of more dresses for any occasion. Macchiaverna said it is wonderful to see people donate dresses to the cause.

For more information, contact Macchiaverna at 667-2004 or Narehood at 328-1170.