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Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Inc.

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Teens Seeking Prom Gowns Find Them in Caitlin's Closet

Orlando, FL, November 30, 2007 --( Each spring teenaged girls start dreaming of the special dresses they will wear to their proms. But with prices skyrocketing, many girls find that being suitably attired is beyond their budgets.

Enter Caitlin Brunell. The daughter of NFL player Mark Brunell, she founded Caitlin’s Closet, a non-profit organization that collects gently used special occasion dresses and distributes them to prom-hopefuls, in 2006 when she was fourteen years old.

“I wanted to do something to help other teens,” Caitlin says. “I realized that every girl should be able to attend school events and feel good about herself, and I thought I might be able to help make that happen.”

While her friends are heading out to the mall to find that one perfect dress, Caitlin is traveling the country in search of hundreds of gowns. She has sponsored events in Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia and plans to distribute gowns in Jacksonville, Florida and Santa Maria, California in the spring.

Since its founding, Caitlin’s Closet has collected more than 200 prom gowns and special occasion dresses. Partnering with Children's Services in Washington, D.C. and Old Dominion High School in Sterling, Virginia, Caitlin was able to give more than 80 girls the chance to attend their proms last spring feeling and looking like the belle of the ball.

“It’s amazing to be able to encourage others and make them feel special and beautiful,” says Caitlin.

Her hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Caitlin is the current Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, representing the Commonwealth of Virginia. She won more than $30,000 in college scholarships at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition in Orlando, Florida in August 2007. The “little sister” pageant to the Miss America Scholarship Organization, this not-for-profit program has provided more than $2 million in college scholarships nationally to young women from 13 to 17 years of age. The title has given Caitlin a nationwide vehicle to promote Caitlin’s Closet.

People interested in helping can email to learn how to host a dress drive or a Caitlin's Closet event, or they can just go through their own closets and send their dresses to Caitlin.

To find out more about Caitlin’s Closet, visit To learn more about Caitlin, go to

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Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Inc.
Kathryn Kenemuth

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