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08 Dec 2015
Jenna Day (left) and Emily Garofalo display dresses already collected. Another member of the project, Simone Marchesin, was absent for the photo.

Photo By Joannesdress and Emily Garofalo display dresses already collected.

Two years ago, Jenna Day collected over 300 prom and formal dresses to achieve her Girl Scout Gold Award. This December, Day and two schoolmates Emily Garofalo and Simone Marchesin, all officers of Vernon Township High School’s DECA Club, are collecting dresses again. Project Princess Dress will help fulfill the girls’ DECA chapter project as well as assist girls this season obtain semi-formal, sweet 16 and prom dresses needed for various upcoming functions.

"There is absolutely no charge for these lightly worn dresses," said Day. "Many have only been worn once and then simply hang in someone’s closet."

"We want to get these collected dresses to girls who need them, it’s a money saving help," stated Garofalo.

DECA is a nearly 70 year old organization with programs at the high school and college level. According to, the group has more than 215,000 members and focuses on preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for finance, marketing, hospitality and management. Garofalo and Day are both leaning towards future marketing careers, while Marchesin plans on a career in economics.

"Yes, we’re fulfilling our chapter project but it’s also volunteerism, it’s giving back to the Vernon community we all grew up in," both girls smiled.

Dress collection began the last week of October. A collection will also take place on Dec. 12, coinciding with the Viking Breakfast with Santa. Distribution of the free dresses will take place at the high school cafeteria on Dec. 20 from noon to 4 p.m.



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