Impact your closet; donate that dress
Police officer Dana Deshler displays two donated dresses for the Suffolk County Association of Women Police’s Prom Impact Project. i

ADV/ Leuzzi

Impact your closet; donate that dress



Proms can be an expensive proposition nowadays. To help teens and their families with some of the costs, the Suffolk County Association of Women Police are hosting their second annual Prom Impact Project. 

They’ll be accepting new or gently used prom dresses, suits, shoes and accessories for participants. 

Within that mix, they are offering a free shopping experience that includes brand-new items on March 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Suffolk County Police Academy at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, 1001 Crooked Hill Road.

Police officer Eileen Emmidio from the 5th Precinct and 4th Precinct police officer Dana Deshler are heading up the initiative. (Items will be accepted at the 5th and 4th precincts, but also at any one in Suffolk County until Friday, March 15.)

“Our biggest challenge is getting the kids to the event,” Deshler said. “This year, we’re opening it up to all the schools in the Suffolk County police district.”

Last year’s Prom Impact Project started this way.

Eileen met a police officer, Detective Tanya Duhaney from the 112th Precinct in Queens, who said New York City police women had been sponsoring an event like this for years,” said Deshler. Duhaney suggested it be brought to Suffolk County and explained the process. 

“We did a spinoff last year,” said Deshler. “We had it twice, once at the Knights of Columbus location in Patchogue, who lent us their hall. We did it again in Brentwood. Overall, we outfitted approximately 250 kids and gave away about 500 dresses, tuxedos and suits.” Islip and Huntington Station high schools were among the participants; arrangements were made to drive some of the students to the first event. 

“We have 1,000 dresses to go through,” Deshler said. “Patchogue businesses were wonderful, from Dave’s Shoe Emporium to Mayer’s Flower Cottage, who committed to corsages and boutonnieres, and S & S Tuxedo in Hicksville. Paradise Bridal was generous and Eva’s in Sayville on Sunrise Highway, she’s coming down and is fitting the girls. Event Kings comes in and transforms the event room.” 

There will be lots to choose from. “We know what a hardship a prom can be on these kids and their parents and we want to provide this service to them,” said Deshler.