by Elsie Walker
The Long Valley Juniorettes have over 300 beautiful prom dresses. That may sound like a great deal for a group of around 25 girls. However, they are not wearing them; they are selling them to raise money for local causes. The prom dress sale is the main fundraiser of this organization which is sponsored by the Long Valley Junior Women’s Club. The Long Valley Juniorettes is open to girls in 7th through 12th grade from Long Valley and the surrounding areas. The group meets monthly and is about girls joining together to make a difference. Club membership requirements include a $25 membership fee. A membership form can be found at www.lvjuniors.org. The club’s president is Alani Rose of Long Valley.
“The Long Valley Junior Women’s club formed their Juniorettes Club in 2012 to provide opportunities to young ladies in our town to get involved with the community, enhance the lives of others, and provide volunteer opportunities,” said Rose, a senior at West Morris Central High School. She has been part of the club since middle school and this year was elected its president. Sponsored by The Long Valley Junior Women’s Club, Juniors Sally Doris and Adrienne Gumersell are the club advisors.
Monthly club meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the Long Valley Presbyterian Church. One of the membership requirements is that members attend at least two meetings. At the meetings, the club discusses volunteer opportunities, upcoming fundraisers, community service events, plus have treasury and correspondence reports. (The club has a board of eight high school students with various roles. They are elected to their roles by the club members.) In addition to the business part of the meeting, Rose shared that they do ice breakers, have door prizes and have local speakers come in to do a presentation or run an activity. Examples of that include a Self Defense Course by the Washington Township Police Department, a Yoga/mindfulness presentation, a nutritionist, and a Zumba class,. ”Every meeting is productive, fun, and a great way to get together with your peers to make a difference together,” said Rose
Volunteering is an important part of this club and members are required to contribute a minimum of five hours volunteer service. Most opportunities only require a certain number of members to do them, but there are plenty of ways for everyone to help. Also, some events do require all members to help. “We do many different types of projects throughout the year, from helping run local events, to planning our own, to doing something for a cause,” said Rose. Past and current projects include a “CAN”-paign food drive, where individually and as a group they collect cans to donate to the local food pantry; doing crafts with seniors at nursing homes; running a stand at the Long Valley Green festival; assisting with Science Fair/Spelling Bee/CARE Dance Recital; helping Homeless Solutions, helping 11th Hour Dog Rescue , and many more. “We also run fundraisers that also work as community service such as our St. Jude Trike-A-Thon for bike safety month [May 4th at 10:00 a.m. at the Benedict A. Cucinella School ), our Prom gown fundraiser, and more. We tend to donate to local charities that affect our community or surrounding areas. Plus, all events and charities we support are voted on by the members,” said Rose.
The Prom Dress fundraiser is the major one for the club. Rose noted that starting in 2016, the club asked local families to donate their prom gowns and party dresses to it. That is the main way the club gets dresses for its impressive collection. “We sell those dresses for an extremely reasonable price at our frequent dress sales, which continue to turn out to be a success,” said Rose. “There are many options for Prom gowns, and even middle school formals, weddings, sweet 16s, and more,” she added. Profits from the fundraiser are donated to local causes which the club votes on at the end of the year. Some they have donated to in the past include 11th Hour Dog Rescue, Rivers Edge Horse Sanctuary, Homeless Solutions, LV’s Child Enrichment Program, and local families. The club is collecting dresses through Spring. The
drop off location is 29 Winay Terrace, Long Valley. For more information on the prom dress fundraiser sale, people can contact Hailey Onweller at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alina Gonzalez at email@example.com or Sally Doris at firstname.lastname@example.org
In sharing about the club, Rose shared a message for the community and for girls considering joining the club, “We are always welcoming new members and [always] looking for opportunities to volunteer!”
For more information about the Long Valley Juniorettes, visit its website at www.lvjuniors.org/index.php/departments-programs/juniorettes-club.