Signals AZ

Annual ‘Prom Closet’ Charity Event Providing Free Formal Attire to Teens, Suspended

Article audio is made possible by CAST11 Prescott Podcast Network. A Talking Glass Media production.

The Prom Closet has suspended its project for the first three Saturdays; March 28, April 4, and April 11. A decision will be made on the final two Saturdays next week. If schools remain closed and proms canceled, Prom Closet Project will not take place this year.

High school teens throughout the state will be able to attend their school prom this spring without having to spend a single penny on purchasing needed attire thanks to the efforts of Arizona Rotarians.

Beginning at the end of March and continuing through every Saturday in April, The Prom Closet – a project spearheaded by the Peoria North Rotary Club — will provide formal prom attire to boys and girls at absolutely no charge.

The event has steadily grown over the years as word continues to spread. Last year, over four hundred students from seventy Arizona high schools were served. “We had several students come from as far away as Winslow,” states Donnis Deever, a member of Peoria North Rotary Club and the chair of this year’s project.

This year’s Prom Closet takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, beginning March 28 and continuing through April 25 when it closes at noon. The event takes place at Landmark Elementary School, 5730 W. Myrtle Ave., in downtown Glendale.

All high school teens are invited. There are no financial requirements and no application to be completed. All items are available at absolutely no cost.

The Prom Closet has thousands of formal prom dresses to choose from, as well as shoes and accessories. In addition to women’s clothing and accessories, items available to men include shirts, slacks, shoes, and ties.

The program was initially created 10 years ago by Mary Ann Baker, a founding member and past president of the Peoria North Rotary Club. The Peoria club assumed total oversight of The Prom Closet three years ago and is supported by volunteer Rotarians from Sun City, Glendale, Surprise and Phoenix.

“It’s really grown into a community-wide project,” states Donnis, “Not only do we have Rotarians from throughout the Valley, but we have many other residents who have joined on as volunteers – many of whom felt the impact of the program when their sons or daughters visited The Prom Closet in the past.”

There are no reservations needed, however, there may be a short wait depending on the number of people in attendance. Rotary volunteers accompany students individually through The Prom Closet to assist them with their selections.

Formal attire is only available to students.

Volunteers, too, are needed and welcome. Gina Schmitz, the principal of Landmark Elementary School and a member of Glendale West Rotary Club, said volunteers are needed not only to help students select their formal attire, but to help with registration, set-up, steaming clothes and more.

“We have short, four-hour shifts and we’ll find a role for anyone who wants to help” said Ms. Schmitz.
Rotary is an international service club with members throughout the world. Eliminating polio is a major focus of the organization, but other areas of focus include improving literacy, providing sustainable fresh water and helping those in need.

“Rotary’s motto is ‘People of Action,’ and we think The Prom Closet lives up to that credo about as well as anything we can do,” said John Fairchild, president of the Peoria North Rotary Club.

All items – from the dresses to sport coats to shoes – have been donated to the club over the years.
Donations are currently accepted at several locations throughout the Valley. Ms. Deever can be reached at

For more information and a complete list of drop-off sites, visit

Story made possible by Vince Moser Farmers Insurance of Prescott, Valley, AZ. Thank you Vince!Vince Moser

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