2011 Quota Cares Month Winners

Quota International of Orillia

Honorable Mention Winner

For a teenager, proms and graduation are long-awaited events, but lacking the funds for proper attire makes them more stressful than fun. Quota of Orillia aimed to replace worries with joyful smiles as they planned their “Let’s Get Formal” event in March. Building on the success of “Got the Dress?” in the previous year, the club planned an even larger project for 2011.

Many weeks of preparation led up to the three-day event. The local mall granted access to a store that had been vacated, and the club set out to transform it. To remove the stigma associated with “second-hand” clothes, publicity focused on the more popular idea of “recycle, reuse, and reduce.” Family, friends, and the community at large were solicited to donate gently used formal dresses. Donations flowed in from both individuals and businesses. One store at the mall offered discount coupons for corsages and boutonnieres, and two employees at another store offered free makeup application and hair styling.

Young men, as well as young women, need proper attire for special occasions, and Quota approached the Lions Club of Orillia to partner with them and provide a similar service for boys. The Lions responded eagerly, seeking out donations of boys’ formal wear and accessories.

By the time the doors opened, the once-empty store had become a different place. The happy faces of students, parents, and grandparents were everywhere as the girls and boys picked out elegant outfits for their special evenings. Two Quota members were on hand with sewing machines and sergers for alterations as necessary. Each young woman was also given an additional gift of donated makeup and nail polish.

Fifty-nine dresses and ten suits were given out over the three days. All agreed it was a tremendous success, and plans are afoot to make it an annual event in the community. Quota will be known in Orillia as the club that makes dreams come true.

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