Prom season is approaching, and high school girls had a chance to get a nice dress for the occasion at a price you can’t beat – free.
Last week, girls were invited to the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale, 3801 Grant Ave., to pick out a dress for their big night.
Many of the donated dresses were worn only once. Others – due to COVID canceling proms and weddings – were never worn and still had the tags on them.
The idea for the giveaway belonged to Angelique Dunphy, whose daughter, Gia, is a senior at Archbishop Ryan. Dunphy’s aunt, Sandee Cataldi, is general manager at Union League-Torresdale.
Union League staff and members were among those donating dresses. Cataldi reached out to Colleen Sharp, who made St. Katherine of Siena Church a drop-off site, accepting donations from parishioners and the Torresdale Women’s Committee.
The Torresdale Neighbors Group on Facebook also spread the word about donations.
Other items donated included shoes, purses, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
Cataldi worked with Julie’s Dry Cleaners, 9201 Frankford Ave., for the girls to have the dresses cleaned and altered for free.
“I didn’t want the girls to pay for anything,” she said,
Organizers reached out to schools, and the interest was immediate. The giveaway attracted girls from schools such as Ryan, New Foundations, MaST, Penn Charter, Nazareth Academy, St. Hubert, Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, Imhotep Charter, Philadelphia Academy Charter School, Little Flower, Franklin Towne, String Theory, Esperanza and William Tennent.
Cataldi said she was happy to be part of the effort.
“We do a lot of neighborhood outreach,” she said. “The neighborhood is so incredibly supportive.”
Union League-Torresdale, thanks to donations from membership club tables, works closely with the 8th Police District and schools such as LaBrum, John Hancock, St. Katherine of Siena and Our Lady of Calvary, helped fund renovations to Mitchell Playground and offers an annual golf outing for police officers, firefighters and the military.
Any remaining dresses were offered at Gwynedd Mercy Academy and West Philadelphia’s 18th Police District. ••