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A local high school student says yes to her dress with Maria’s Closet founder Ronna Luna (right) of San Pedro California. (photo: Mizzy Photography)
Photo of A local high school student says yes to her dress with Maria's Closet founder Ronna Luna (right) of San Pedro California. (photo: Mizzy Photography)

The flowers. The photos. The dancing. What do you remember about your prom?

For many young women, the experience of finding the perfect dress for the big dance is a truly special moment. With the help of Maria’s Closet, style and confidence go hand in hand.

“I feel there is a very strong need in our community of promoting self-confidence and image,” says Ronna Luna, founder of Maria’s Closet. “Although I was able to provide that with my daughter, there are so many young girls in our community that aren’t as fortunate.”

After connecting with a young high school student named Gillian through a school counselor, Luna helped her find the perfect outfit for prom and look and feel her best. Soon after, she quickly decided that this act of service could benefit many young women locally. “Although prom dress donation is not a new concept,” explains Luna, “there was nothing that I could locate similar to this in our Harbor Area for our girls, so I felt the need to start Maria’s Closet.”

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Photo of A local high school student says yes to her dress with Maria's Closet founder Ronna Luna (right) of San Pedro California. (photo: Mizzy Photography)

A local high school student says yes to her dress with Maria’s Closet founder Ronna Luna (right) of San Pedro California. (photo: Mizzy Photography)

Inspired by the legacy of her beloved mother-in-law, Maria “Cuca” Luna, the volunteer-driven organization collects prom dresses and accessories to donate to female high school students in need for their big dance. Services also include custom alterations, and goodies such as new cosmetics and products. “Maria was extremely faithful, kind, and very humble. I would watch her quietly perform good deeds for others constantly,” says Luna fondly.

“I am sure her heart is full and she is beaming a big smile, knowing that her spirit of kindness and love has created this nonprofit that will inspire and empower many beautiful and deserving young women.”

Aiding in their fundraising efforts, Maria’s Closet is hosting their Second Annual Adult Prom on Saturday, February 2. Located at the Dalmatian-American Club, this Grease-themed event will feature a delicious dinner, dancing and entertainment by DJ Michael DiLeva, a silent auction, and an opportunity to strike your favorite prom pose for photos. Guests are encouraged to dress up in 1950s attire and join the Pink Ladies or T-Birds at Rydell High.

“All proceeds will benefit our amazing local young women for Prom 2019,” says Luna. “We really know how to put the fun in fundraising, and look forward to a fabulous event.”

Cleaning out your closet for the New Year? Maria’s Closet happily welcomes donations. Collections continue all year long for new and gently used formal length dresses, evening gowns, ranging from sizes 0–30, as well as clutches, jewelry, other accessories. Monetary donations and volunteers are also welcomed, as they prepare for their Big Give Event on March 10 at Mary Star of the Sea High School. “The amazing hearts of our volunteers are the beat of Maria’s Closet,” Luna says proudly. “As we grow, we hope that more people will want to help us make dreams come true by donating their time.”

Looking forward, Maria’s Closet hopes to seek additional partnerships with individual donors, corporations, and social organizations to help their mission of servicing others grow, as well as possible scholarship opportunities for education.

“Most importantly, we hope to form lasting bonds with the young women we have had the opportunity to meet through Maria’s Closet, and hope that we truly made a positive impact in their lives.”

For tickets and more information to the Maria’s Closet Second Annual Adult Prom, visit mariasclosetadultprom2019.eventbrite.com.

To donate, volunteer, and for additional information, visit mariasclosets.org.

photo of Caitlyn Piercy

Caitlyn Piercy

Associate Editor, San Pedro Today

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