Jill Imbrogno was excited to participate in Operation Prom for the first time, so excited in fact that she went out and collected the most dresses of any of the 20-plus participating organizations.
Operation Prom, which kicked off its ninth year Thursday night, was founded by Noel D’Allaco to help students afford many costs that come with attending prom. Participating organizations collect dresses to donate to underprivileged students, and some of them even offer free hair and makeup for girls. The agency also helps boys rent tuxedos.
On Thursday night at Eastchester’s Lake Isle County Club, D’Allaco held a kickoff event for the organization’s ninth year, and honored some of the companies who help Operation Prom.
“Usually we pick one company to honor,” she said. “This year we went with four because I just couldn’t choose one. We have businesses calling asking us how to help. It’s a fun charity to be a part of, and it really helps a lot of young ladies.”
The four honorees were JKFlashy Makeup Services of Tarrytown and its owner, Imbrogno; Le Loft Salon & Spa of Pleasantville and its owner Francesca Vendittelli; Nicholas Day Spa of Pelham and its owner, Nicholas J. Elezaj; and Salon Posh of Mamaroneck and its owner, Diane Mammana.
Mammana actually got Imbrogno involved with Operation Prom. Imbrogno not only works out of Tarrytown, but also out of Mammana’s Mamaroneck store as well, and Mammana had been involved with the agency for the past three years. This past year was Imbrogno’s first, and she collected the most dresses on any company, hauling in somewhere in the low 60s. She wasn’t sure of the exact number. Mammana had a big party one night where she collected more than 30 dresses at a single event.
“Everyone has a dress that they don’t want anymore,” Imbrogno said. “Brides have a tendency to pick out the ugliest dress they can find. So many times we’re working a wedding a hear bridesmaids complain about the dresses.”
Mammana agreed, and said they both used social media and their large families to ask for dresses.
“What is ugly to someone, though, is going to be perfect to someone else,” Mammana said.
Mammana read about D’Allaco and her organization in a newspaper when it started and was immediately taken with the idea. Once she opened her salon, she reached out to see if she could help.
“I know how important it is to go to prom,” Mammana said. “I was lucky enough that I didn’t have to think twice about going to prom, or getting a dress or getting my hair done, but plenty of girls do,” she said. “I really appreciate Noel’s drive and all she’s done. I’m happy to help anyway I can.”