2016 Prom Boutique a huge hit with Toronto youth

New Circles 9th Annual Prom Boutique 2016 Check out our 2016 Prom Boutique slideshow>

There’s nothing like Prom – the excitement, the drama and the lifelong memories.  All of this was made possible for teens who attended the recent 2016 Prom Boutique. From suits, shirts and ties for the guys and dresses, shoes, and jewelry for the gals, 568 young women and men from across Toronto were outfitted for the night of their lives.    

One young man was thrilled that he “found a really dope suit – for free!”  While one young lady “tried on like a million dresses until I found the perfect one!!!”

Camilla also was elated about her great find. “Thank you for this great opportunity.  It was such a nice feeling to be able to find my dress.  I love it so much!” 

Our volunteers are committed to making the Prom Boutique experience a comfortable and memorable one, treating all participants with respect and dignity as they searched for the perfect outfit.  “The Prom Boutique is AMAZING!” wrote Sid, a transgender youth.  “I had a fantastic time, and would definitely recommend it to anyone regardless of their gender identity.”

This year, the Prom Boutique had a true retail ‘vibe’ as we extended the space to include our large classroom. Young women had exclusive access to the GLOW space and the men were in a separate room so they could have an equally positive experience with their personal shoppers.  

But Prom Boutique is more than a shopping experience.  It is part of New Circles’ youth focus that is designed to help young people transition to the next stage of their lives.  With that in mind, participants attended the Information Fair that included Woodgreen, Volunteer Toronto, Acces Employment and Albert Campbell Library to learn about volunteer and employment programs in the community.     

How do we do it?

Over 560 young people attended the event which was held over a full week in late April.  The majority of participants were seen over Saturday and Sunday and by appointment during the week. The students are referred by guidance counselors and youth workers at the Toronto District School Board and Toronto District Catholic School Board and from our network of partner agencies.

Prom Boutique is a ‘mega event’ that involves volunteers every step of the way.  Our Prom Committee members Elaine Rocca, Gail Cooper, Marcy Muchnik, Miriam Blumstock, Justin Ming Cheung handled all the major details.  We also had over 80 volunteers help out during the event, and 50 volunteers worked to set up and display the clothing and accessories before the big day.

Poppy Phioukham, Manager, Clothing Programs sums it up, “Prom Boutique is such a special event that mobilizes all of Toronto to get involved whether it’s through donations, volunteering or being a recipient, I truly enjoy seeing it all come together. The best part is the look on a teen’s face when they find the outfit that fits just right – that moment is when all the time and effort put in makes it worth it.”

Prom Boutique is made possible through the efforts of many people and organizations across the city. We are so grateful for their support and extend our heartfelt thanks:

Youth Programming Partner: Mackenzie Investments Charitable Foundation

New Product Donors:  Arbonne, NYX, Heart To Hand, College of Make Up Art & Design, Corsage Project, Century Neckwear, Cupcakes and Champagne, GOTSTYLE, Heel Boy, Henkaa, IFG Online, Just Socks, Original, Poor Little Rich Girl, PVH Corp, Richman/Mori Lee Canada, ShoeMe, Brands for Canada, Tom’s Place.

Large Clothing Drives: Katie Noble, North Toronto; Lise Laforge, Beaches; Kirsten Hentshel, Tri Delta U of T Sorority and Fraternity; Jane Loughborough, Lawrence Park Community Church; Janice Svastal, North Toronto Moms Group; Alexa Rocca, Leaside; Nancy Wahlworth, St.Cuthberts; Sydney Cohn and Lisa Levitan, Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto; Kaley Pulfer,Blakes;  Rebecca Randle, Bayview Glen; Laura Kuchirka, Branksome Hall; Melanie Belore, Havergal College; Jennifer Edgar and Michelle Stewart, Sony; Jennifer Gunn, TJX.

Drop off locations: Flair Trade Consignment; Gibson’s Cleaners; Henkaa; Bosley Real Estate (Davisville and Broadview locations); Smoke + Ash; Voluptuous. 

Third Party Events: Project Prom at Design Exchange: Gracie Carroll, Brigitte Huard, Amanda Scriver; Prom & Peroni Night: Wendy Daniels and Cathy Hendren; Newcomers and Prom: Linda Hodgson and Newcomers Group; Bell Kearns: Helen Kearns and Gail Thompson; American Women’s Club

Special Thanks:  Jim Crawford, Photographer; Jennifer Crawford, Seamstress; Sony Music Jennifer Edgar and Michelle Stewart, Prom Banner; Prettyful Hair and Makeup, Hair and Make Up Raffle. 

Check out our 2016 Prom Boutique slideshow>

New Circles' GLOW clothing service is the largest clothing bank in Toronto. We help 12,000 people of all ages annually.