Free prom dresses, footwear, extras specified away this weekend in Burlington

For the next year, a “Queen’s Closet” — providing absolutely free prom dresses, sneakers and accessories — will be held in Burlington.

The new and carefully-applied robes have been gathered and arranged by Claire Tillotson, a 23-12 months-old Burlington indigenous.

“I know dresses are highly-priced,” Tillotson said this 7 days. “When I was in substantial school, a prom costume could be $400 and I know they’ve only long gone up in price tag. It seriously commenced simply because I knew a lot of men and women had misplaced their employment because of to COVID-19. I don’t want to cost any but, which is why I’m owning a donation jar for folks to donate. I just want to make guaranteed individuals if they want to go to promenade, they never have to stress about the fiscal price tag.”

“A Queen’s Closet” this weekend in Burlington will offer 200 free prom dresses.

The giveaway will be Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, from noon to 6 p.m. in the Optimae Daily life Products and services creating, 1000 Roosevelt Ave., Suite 11, Burlington.

Tillotson graduated from Simpson School (Indianola, Iowa) in 2020, with a diploma in neuroscience and psychology, and is in grad faculty now at Drake in Des Moines, pursuing a master’s in clinical psychological well being counseling.

In February, Tillotson received the Overlook River Bend pageant in Iowa Town, permitting her to contend in Miss Iowa this June in Davenport. She appreciates competing for the likelihood to earn scholarship cash, as nicely as boosting her community talking and creating abilities, and for the friendships she’s built.

Tillotson with some of her donated dresses.

She started off the Queen’s Closet pop-up boutique in Burlington previous yr soon after volunteering for a little something related in the QC a handful of a long time ago.

“I assumed, you know what? I can do better,” Tillotson claimed, noting she has absolutely free attire in measurements -30. “I can make something inclusive and stylish. So I did, and I started off amassing dresses.”

Past yr, she gave away 100 dresses, and this year her purpose is 200. When the vogue is totally free, she encourages monetary donations – very last year, she gathered $1,000 for the Iowa Donor Community, to endorse organ and tissue donations. The community says there are 583 Iowans now waiting around for an organ transplant.

“It is my platform in the Miss out on America opposition,” Tillotson reported, noting in 2017, she dropped a 16-yr-aged pal in a car or truck accident, who donated his organs that helped 100 individuals.

Some of the free of charge fancy women’s footwear out there this weekend.

“I just thought, you know, I have to have to continue to keep sharing his tale,” she stated. “I have to have to continue to make this a trend that persons are registered, simply because it is really hard to converse about. I know mainly because not anyone is cozy speaking about death.”

This 12 months, she’s received about 50 attire donated from Stacey’s Prom in Urbandale, and 115 from Le Chic Promenade & Pageant Boutique in Muscatine, all brand name new. They are each pageant connections, and Le Chic is extremely energetic in Miss out on Iowa, Tillotson mentioned.

“I have even a lot more range this year. It just retains expanding and I adore it,” she explained. “I know my mothers and fathers really do not love it, because a great deal of attire are nevertheless in their basement and their basement is a compact retail outlet at this level.”