A New Mexico nonprofit that’s helped countless teens over the last decade is closing. Stacked alongside old desks and outdated school supplies, more than 2,000 prom dresses.
Founder of the Santa Fe Prom Closet Rennae Ross says Santa Fe Prep School allows her to store the dresses in the school’s basement. The non-profit has been accepting gently used formal wear for 10 years.
“We basically serve from Valencia County to the Colorado border which is roughly 16 counties,” says Board Member Kate Kennedy. The organization provides thousands of low-income high school students statewide with clothes for prom.
Ross says they rely on fundraisers and donations to hold pop-up boutiques. She says the first few years they were able to get spaces donated.
“Over the years it’s gotten harder and harder for us to find a space,” Ross says.
Board members say they are down to about seven volunteers. They say renting the space and moving the clothes has consumed most of their budget and they can’t afford to do it anymore.
“The social worker community our youth organizations that had been sending us clients over the last few years. I think those will be the most impacted by our decision to close,” Kennedy says.
Organizers say they know some families will be disappointed but they are planning to sell what’s left of their inventory and donate the profits to other local charities.
“It’s really sad but we do it with a lot of pride. We’ve had some incredible moments over the last 10 years,” Kennedy says.
The Santa Fe Prom Closet’s inventory sale is scheduled for April 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and April 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Santa Fe Prep Gym. Along with the thousands of dresses, they also have tuxedos, shoes and accessories. Prices will start at $10.