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Batavia store collecting prom dresses for Cinderella's Closet

BATAVIA – Special Occasions On The Avenue owner Mary Marconi-Popiel believes that every teenage girl should enjoy her high school prom.

“This is one day for a girl to feel like a princess,” she said.

Her store will hold a prom dress drive to benefit Cinderella’s Closet. The drive will start Saturday and run through Jan. 23.

Those who donate a gently used, clean prom dress will receive a coupon for 20 percent off their next purchase at Special Occasions.

For the past six years, the Junior League of Kane and DuPage Counties has hosted Cinderella’s Closet to benefit financially challenged families.

“We try to outfit the girls from head to toe, so they don’t have to do anything extra,” said Jennifer Kahley of Geneva, board adviser for the group.

Cinderella’s Closet has been successful because of donations.

“We typically have an amazing selection of more than 5,000 dresses, the majority of which are brand new,” Kahley said.

Starting this year, the Elgin Junior Service Board will take over running Cinderella’s Closet. But the Junior League still will help in promoting the event.

This year’s Cinderella’s Closet event will be held on April 16. More information is available at

Special Occasions On The Avenue and other downtown businesses also will partner with Batavia MainStreet to present “Prom-O-Rama 2011” from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 20, at the Eastside Community Center, 14 N. Van Buren St.

The event will feature a prom business expo, style show, creative dance and live music. Proceeds from a raffle will benefit Suicide Prevention Services.

More information is available by calling Special Occasions at 630-406-1515 or by visiting

Want to help?

Special Occasions On The Avenue, 2 N. Batavia Ave., Batavia, will hold a prom dress drive to benefit Cinderella's Closet. The drive will take place Saturday through Jan. 23.

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