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Love That Dress Collection Party Returns to Sanibel

By Staff | Jun 15, 2012

Photo by SHANNEN HAYES Love That Dress returns to Sanibel June 19 at The Village Shops – Vicki Miles, owner of Sanibel Tropical Wines; Domizio Melchiorre, owner of Tribeca Salon; Rhonda Hodgson, Property Management; Diane Hertz, of Royal Shell Vacations; Barb Harrington of Royal Shell Vacations; Janet Strickland of Law Office of Janet M. Strickland, P.A.; Mike and Linda Miller of San Cap CPA; and Christin Collins, PACE Board Member and founder of Love That Dress invite the island community.

Dig out those dresses hanging in the back of your closet and give them a second life by bringing them to The Village Shops June 19 for the Love That Dress collection party. One or more gently used dresses are your admission to the soiree.

“Last year’s collection party was once again extremely successful,” said Barb Harrington, with The Royal Shell Companies, host of the event. “Island resident’s generosity continues to make the Sanibel-Captiva collection party one of the most successful in the county.”

Love That Dress helps support PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, which offers year-round counseling and academic services for girls ages 12 to 18. These young ladies are facing challenges like foster care, domestic violence, abuse and neglect to coping with the death of a parent, substance abuse and family history of incarceration.

“Pace has a 94 percent success rate for girls not re-entering the juvenile justice system within a year of leaving us,” said Melissa Simontis, director of development for PACE. “There are also long-term benefits, such as these young girls becoming productive members of society when they get older.”

Since 2007, PACE Lee has helped more than 300 girls find success in school, generate positive relationships with families and peers and become a productive member of the community. All proceeds from Love That Dress benefit PACE’s mission to provide girls a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy.

“I love to see the coming together of all the communities to make a big difference for PACE,” said Simontis about Love That Dress. “We have a lot of supporters on the islands.”

The Love That Dress concept was conceived in 2009 by Christin Collins with Lee Memorial Health Services, when a group of volunteers decided to throw a dress collection party naming PACE as beneficiary. Since then, the non-profit organization has trademarked Love That Dress for its 17 centers located throughout Florida.

“I think it’s popular because it’s accessible with bargain dresses, people socializing with friends and all while helping PACE,” said Simontis. “In 2009, we raised $35,000; in 2010, $75,000; and last year, $125,000. We want Love That Dress to be sustainable and grow.”

This year, a $5 donation per person will be collected at the party. Dresses can be dropped off in advance at Tribeca Salon located in The Village Shops on Periwinkle Way. Men are invited to the party, too, but must also bring a dress for donation. Additionally, Matzaluna Italian Kitchen, 1200 Periwinkle Way, will be donating 15 percent of its dinner proceeds from that night back to PACE.

Dresses collected at the Sanibel party and all parties in Lee and Collier counties will be professionally cleaned and resold at nominal prices during the main Love That Dress event Aug. 29 at Embassy Suites, Estero. Tickets to the main event are $25 and will be available online at www.lovethatdress.org.

Start gathering your dresses and someone else will “love that dress.”