Belle of the Ball - History
Members of the League saw a need in the community that was intensified by the financial crisis that began in 2007. Thus in 2008, to combat the direct need for formal wear, the JLB held a formal clothing drive with the aim to help Brooklyn teens in need to attend their Prom and other formal events. The 1st Prom Dress Giveaway held in East New York provided dresses and accessories to 40 young women who ranged from Elementary, Middle School and High School seniors .
By 2012, the 5th Prom Dress giveaway, now officially known as Belle of the Ball, expanded into a Day of Beauty with the goal of instilling confidence into the everyday lives of the young women in attendance. Held at the Van Dyke Community Center in Brownsville, we had hair, makeup and photography services donated and 67 young ladies left with dresses and accessories and a preview of their prom day look.
Our Members voted to make Belle of the Ball a full placement in 2013 to reflect the time it took to execute. In 2014, the program was held in Bedford Stuyvesant at MS 35 and with a generous donation from our Sustainers was the first time we provided 3 college scholarships to graduating seniors.
Something New - a Beau
In order to meet the growing request to include young men in our annual giveaway, in 2015 the Junior League of Brooklyn collaborated with the Brooklyn Sigma's [Kappa Beta Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated]. The program now known as Belle and Beau of the Ball, continued to garner support and JLB members exceeded our fundraising goal for the scholarship awards by raising over $17,000.
With the continued contributions from community partners and donors, the program has grown each year.