A Monmouth County charity continues to help less fortunate students enjoy an annual rite of passage. Cinderella's Closet was started in Monmouth County about 5 years back by then-high school students, Stephanie Tomasetta and Katie Adams with a goal of providing underprivileged students with access to the latest prom fashions.

The group collects new and gently used formal wear and accessories that are suitable for the prom.

"Our mission is to ensure that no high school student has to forfeit life-long memories associated with their prom due to financial hardship," says volunteer Mary Pat Serhus.

In the short time that Cinderella's Closet has been in existence, there reach has been tremendous, as Serhus estimates that close to 1,000 young adults have been helped by their great work.

"It's just very fulfilling to watch these young adults and help them basically live a dream that maybe they wouldn't be able to do," explains Serhus.

While it started as just a Monmouth non-profit, they have expanded across much of New Jersey, with many schools now contacting them. The group has over 100 volunteers with more than 19 schools involved.

The eligibility for this great program is generally determined by school guidance counselors and administrators, who work with Cinderella's Closet during the process.

Their annual prom fashion show takes on January 20th from 7:00 to 10:00 PM at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. The event is Cinderella's Closet's largest fundraiser of the year. It helps allow the capability to fund two prom boutiques in the spring for these less fortunate children.

"The racks are almost like you're shopping. We provide an experience. We're really working to try to work with the kids and not only provide the prom-wear, but self esteem and positives, and outlook," said Serhus.

The prom boutiques take place March 3rd and March 24th.

You can learn about their event details, as well as how you can help, by visiting their website.

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