The Matinee Club Supports Dress for Success

Stephanie Conley (center), Executive Director of Dress for Success Morris County, shows Catherine Lyness (l) and Helene Hulse (r) around the Suiting Shop.

The Matinee Club, a daytime movie series in Summit and Madison, donated proceeds from a special evening movie event held last spring, and is planning a handbag drive in October to benefit the not-for-profit organization Dress for Success of Morris County. Dress for Success provides free professional clothing to women trying to get back into the workplace, along with assistance in career development, mentoring and networking opportunities.

The handbag drive will take place on the opening days of the Matinee Club's four movie series in October; members will be invited to bring a handbag to donate. Last year, the Matinee Club had over 750 subscribers who watch their choice of two first-run films one morning a month from October to May. The 2010-11 registration drive is going on now.

This is the first charity connection for the Matinee Club, and organizers Helene Hulse and Catherine Lyness are excited. "It just seems like a natural fit," says Lyness. "The Matinee Club is almost entirely women, and Dress for Success is all about helping women."

The idea for the handbag drive came while Stefanie Conley, Executive Director of DFS Morris County, was giving Hulse and Lyness a tour of the Suiting Shop, where volunteer personal shoppers assist women, referred through other social service agencies, with everything from suits to shoes to handbags to jewelry. When Conley mentioned that handbags were always in demand, "we knew right away this would be great for our group" says Hulse. "I have a handbag I would love to donate, and I'll bet a lot of other women do, too. We are thrilled to facilitate this connection."

For information about Dress for Success Morris County, please visit For more info about the Matinee Club, or to subscribe, please visit  

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