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February 21, 2012 > Helping hands - Princess Club in action

Helping hands - Princess Club in action

By Suzanne Ortt
Photos By Cassandra Manansala

Does spring bring recycling? At James Logan High School (JLHS) in Union City it does. The time is now for the third annual Prom Dress Drive organized by the Princess Club. A few years ago, a group of Logan students created the Princess Club; now membership has expanded to princes as well.

A major purpose of the Club is to help low-income students with senior year expenses, namely attire for the Senior Ball.

Bre Leija, an active Princess, explains, "They say 'one man's trash is another man's treasure.' In this case, one girl's old dress is another girl's new dress. I think this is a great alternative choice for girls who don't have an extra $200 to drop on a dress for the night, especially senior year with activities which add up." Leija adds, "It's great to be able to have a nice place to put the dresses that hog up space in closets, to put the dresses to good use and to help someone in need."

The club's dress drive has expanded beyond informal and formal dresses and prom accessories. It now accepts attire for men also, including neckties, vests, and dinner jackets. Another change is the inclusion of students from Conley-Caraballo High School and those in the Independent Studies Program.

Anyone wishing to donate may do so at the community drop-off sites: Paddy's Coffee House at 3900 Smith Street or 1st United Services Credit Union, 33131 Alvarado-Niles Road, at Dowe Avenue, both in Union City. Deadline for these two is; March 1. The third site is James Logan's front office (1800 H Street, Union City) that will accept contributions indefinitely.

No restrictions are placed on size, color, or style of the attire. However, items need to be clean and in good condition.

In a bit of good news, a year ago the Club applied for and received a New Haven Schools Foundation grant. With these funds, the club purchased garment steamers.

Club members are also on the lookout for a men's clothing store that will give discounts to eligible students. Another welcome donation would be discounts on limo services. For anyone who can help with these or needs more details, please email

Assisting the princesses and princes with this drive are two JLHS faculty advisors: Tina Bobadilla-Mastel and Gaby Esquivez. These two help the Club members with organization of their activities, paperwork, and, last but not least, inspiration.

Remember the old adage quoted by Leija - "One man's trash is another man's treasure," and please consider donating toward this worthwhile effort.

Princess Club prom donations drop-off:
(Through March 1): Paddy's Coffee House, 3900 Smith Street, Union City
1st United Services Credit Union, 33131 Alvarado-Niles Road, at Dowe Avenue, Union City
(Ongoing Donations): James Logan High School, 1800 H Street, Union City

For additional information, email Tina Bobadilla-Mastel:

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