A local initiative helps girls make it to prom in style

By Audrey Coleman

1,200 high school juniors and seniors filled Hynes Convention Center Saturday, as they searched for their prom dresses at The Belle of the Ball Boutique Day. 

The Belle of the Ball is an invite-only initiative started by Boston’s chain Anton’s Cleaners, with partners Jordan’s Furniture and Enterprise Bank. They give dresses and accessories, like jewelry and shoes, to local high school juniors and seniors. A personal shopper helps pre-approved girls pick out their prom outfits at the shopping event. 

Students can be nominated for The Belle of the Ball Boutique Day by teachers, school counselors, church leaders, and social service workers.

When the initiative started in 2005, approximately 100 girls were given prom dresses. 

“When I witness what these young ladies are experiencing here, it makes your heart feel good and burst with joy of being able to give something to somebody who couldn’t have been able to do it on their own,” said Arthur Anton Jr., chief operating officer of Anton’s Cleaners and founder of the Belle of the Ball.