southtownstar
CHARMING 
Weather Updates

Petzel: Oak Lawn HS and PTSA again offering Cinderella’s Closet

Oak Lawn Community High School PTSA volunteers Mary Ann Hurkes (left) DonnBoetscher prepare dresses for Cinderella’s Closet an annual PTSA

Oak Lawn Community High School PTSA volunteers Mary Ann Hurkes (left) and Donna Boetscher prepare dresses for Cinderella’s Closet, an annual PTSA program that offers lightly used and new dresses and accessories so girls can afford to attend the school's prom. | Cheryl Petzel ~ For Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 58040728
tmspicid: 21175863
fileheaderid: 9932930

Greetings, fellow Oak Lawnians, and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Oak Lawn Community High School and its Parent-Teacher-Student Association are showing their holiday spirit through the Cinderella’s Closet program. The PTSA-sponsored program is being coordinated by Maria Vanderwarren, an assistant to the school’s principal, Michael Riordan, and Kate Kujawa, a special education teacher.

The program, designed for a select group of female students, helps offset the cost of prom by offering lightly used formal dresses, shoes, purses, unopened make-up and even accessories for just $5 per item.

“It’s so expensive to buy prom dresses and prom tickets, so we wanted to help students go to prom by lowering the cost of dresses,” Vanderwarren said. “We had the program last year, and it’s been running a few years now.”

The project is a joint effort of student volunteers and PTSA members, including Riordan and Assistant Principal Joe McCurdy.

Vanderwarren said the school’s social workers and counselors are compiling a list of students who might want to take advantage of the program. Kujawa said “we expect the list to come out within the next month, and then we’ll finalize the list. We focus on juniors and seniors since it’s prom-related.”

The program is not without its poignant moments.

“When girls come out of the locker room and look at themselves in the mirror, they feel like a princess. It makes me feel so good,” Vanderwarrren said. “Some of the dresses are cocktail dresses that the students purchase for graduation or a dance, like Turnabout, and some still have tags on them so the student is getting a brand new, awesome dress.”

Kujawa said 10 to 15 students participated in the program last year.

The girls are invited to shop during the first hour on Jan. 25 at the Cinderella’s Closet boutique at the high school, 9400 Southwest Highway. The public is then able to shop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for remaining items for just $10 per item. Proceeds go toward paying for a bus for the Students Against Destructive Decisions post-prom party.

Cinderella’s Closet is accepting donations of new or lightly used formal or cocktail dresses of any style, size and color, as well as shoes, purses, unopened make-up and accessories. Donations can be dropped off from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the district office through Jan. 17.

If you cannot drop items off during this time frame, other arrangements can be made by contacting Vanderwarren at 708-741-5602 or via email at mvanderwarren@olchs.org.

Here are this week’s celebrity birthdays: Happy 6th birthday to Sofia McQuaid from her parents, Lynette and Todd, Sydney, Jimmy and grandparents Joan and Mike Fahey. Happy 7th birthday to Ryan Charles Soch from his parents, Ralph and Michelle, Morgan and grandparents Mary and Rog Sutton and Maryann and Richard Soch. Kelley Lakawitch’s parents and Kevin wish her a happy 11th birthday. Happy birthday to Caitlin Gallagher, who’s turning 13, from her parents Mary and Dan and Kevin.

Carol and Lou Opitz wish their grandson, Bryan Metelski, a happy 13th birthday. Happy 14th birthday to Giana Thorell from her parents and Nina and Bob. Happy 16th to Blake Zwartz from his parents, Dylan, Brooke and Shelfee. Patrick Rylko’s parents, Glen and Alicia, wish him a happy 23rd birthday. And a happy 23rd also to Jacob Andruk-Dantone from his parents and Zachary and Nathaniel.

Happy birthday to Brian Brejcha, who’s turning 27, from his parents Cindy and Bill, Kevin and to Brian’s father, Bill Brejcha. Ryan Gornik’s family wishes him a happy birthday. Theresa and Wally Antonowicz send birthday wishes to their daughter, Lisa Keysboe. Happy birthday to Dorothy Mungia from her husband, Sal, and their children. Special birthday wishes go out to Denise McKay from Tom, Cody, Shannon, Chris Esther and family.

Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays, special events or special “stuff”going on with your family or within the community. Call me at (708) 899-9544 or email me at the address above.

Until next time ...



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.