Miss Texas Organization Collects Prom Gowns for Girls in Need

Contestants Collect over $300,000 worth of gently worn prom gowns.

Fort Worth, TX, April 24, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Over 2300 special occasion dresses were collected during a dress drive hosted by Miss Texas and Miss Teen Texas on behalf of Caitlin’s Closet, a non-profit organization which collects gently worn prom gowns and distributes them to girls who would otherwise not be able to afford to attend their proms. Caitlin’s Closet was founded by Caitlin Brunell, Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.

"It's really amazing what 78 individuals can come together and do in only four short weeks.” said Lydia Hall, Director of Miss Teen Texas. “Our local titleholders have given over 2300 young women in seven Texas school districts the opportunity to have a pretty outfit to wear on their special day. I am so very proud to be part of an organization that fosters such endeavors."

38 Miss Teen Texas local titleholders and 40 Miss Texas local titleholders showed up at the Burleson High School in Burleson, Texas with bags of dresses under their arms on the first Saturday in April. These young women will go on to compete in the Miss Teen Texas and Miss Texas Pageants, July 1st-5th in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Working with Caitlin’s Closet has been so rewarding, it is such a great program,” said Callie Thompson, Miss Teen Texas 2007. “I hope that this program continues to help underprivileged young women around the country.”

Caitlin Brunell, the daughter of NFL player Mark Brunell, founded Caitlin’s Closet in 2006 when she was fourteen years old.

“I wanted to do something to help other teens,” Caitlin said. “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.”

Caitlin has sponsored events in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Florida, Nevada and Texas, and is planning to host more collection drives in California and Kentucky this year. She will distribute those gowns during prom season at events in Oklahoma, California, Florida, Texas and Virginia.

Since its founding, Caitlin’s Closet has collected over 5000 prom gowns and special occasion dresses. 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” competition 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.

“Helping others is what the Miss America Organization is all about,” said Molly Hazlett, Miss Texas 2007. “The support of this project shows how dedicated and giving each contestant can be.”

The gowns were distributed to seven area school districts in Texas. Representatives from each district attended the dress drive and left with hundreds of gowns to give to girls in their areas.

To find out more about Caitlin’s Closet, visit www.CaitlinsCloset.org. To learn more about Caitlin, go to www.MAOTeen.org. Information on Miss Texas and Miss Teen Texas can be found at www.misstexas.org and www.teentexas.org.

Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Inc.
Kathryn Kenemuth