South Brunswick: Fifth Annual Viking Closet Prom Event Gives Back To The Community

Credits: Kenneth Downey photos

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – You don’t need a basket of money to look good for this year’s prom, just The Viking Closet.

The organization held its 5th annual “Sisterhood of the Traveling Prom Dress” event today at the South Brunswick High School from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Hundreds of South Brunswick girls were expected to gather in the Blue Cafe to be a part of this special event, which was sponsored by the Viking Closet.

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The “Sisterhood of the Traveling Prom Dress” provided one free dress per person, and each additional dress for the cost of only $5.

The Viking Closet was created in 2012 at South Brunswick High School with the objective to provide clothing to the students and their families.

“The day that I brought the idea to the principal, I get an email (that night) from another teacher who works here,” said Jen Webb the creator of the Viking Closet Club. “It said, I have this idea that I think there’s a need in South Brunswick where we can get clothes donated, and accessories, no questions asked. (It was) almost word for word of what I said to the principal. This was never my idea, out of 277 employees, this was never our idea, this was God’s idea.”

The 54 members of the Viking Closet Club accept all donations from clothing to draw string bags.

All items that are given to students by the Viking Closet are free with no questions asked, Webb said.

Along with the prom dresses being provided, the Viking Closet’s event also had make-up artists, hairstylists, henna artists, live entertainment, as well as refreshments.

Girls were able to enter the Viking Closet’s free raffles, where they had the opportunity to win prom tickets, Coach bags and wallets, certificates for manicures and pedicures, certificates for up do’s, and discounts for boutonnieres.

The Viking Closet not only helps South Brunswick students and families, but other organizations too.

“I partner with (Jen Webb). I run an organization called Our Fairy Godmother,” said Jin Hee Lee. “We are all over New Jersey. The organization that donates the most dresses gets the profits that we make. Last year the Viking Closet donated over 300 dresses to my organization. So the Viking Closet got a big chunk.”

Lee praised Jen Webb for the work she has done with the Viking Closet.

“It has been amazing working with Ms. Webb,” said Lee. “She is such a go-getter and her organization is just amazing. The turn out and the work that she puts into it, she is just so dedicated to getting these girls to prom. The work that she puts in just to make an impact is really encouraging to me.”

The event had volunteers, which included teachers from the high school.

Jane Rothfuss, a science teacher at SBHS, felt that the students involved in the club were gaining more than just something for their college resumes.

“I am just a teacher at the high school, I help Jen because Viking Closet is such a big part of our school, said Rothfuss. “It’s a lot of things for them (the students); they’re learning some skills. It shows them what’s involved in pulling off something like this. It’s a learning opportunity for the kids to increase their skills.”

Even the students involved, seemed to appreciate the impact that they were making.

“It’s being able to give people dresses that would usually be $2,000-$3,000, and they can get them for free,” said SBHS student Kadijah Azam. “I was in (it) for volunteer hours, when Ms. Webb introduced me to the club. This is my second year doing it, its pretty awesome. Who doesn’t want free prom dresses?”

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