The Vandenberg Spouses’ Club held a grand opening ceremony for their permanent Cinderella’s Closet facility on Vandenberg Air Force Base. Courtesy Photo.
The Vandenberg Spouses’ Club (VSC) launched the Cinderella’s Closet program in 2017, collecting formal attire and accessories that could be borrowed and worn to local military events. On Monday, January 22, they took a significant step forward with the grand opening of their permanent facility on Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Last November, the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation’s 21st Annual Military Ball served as the perfect venue for members of the VSC to spread awareness about their new charitable initiative, which they accomplished by wearing evening gowns that had been donated to the program. Based on the results, it appears that people received their message loud and clear.
Less than six months after kicking off the Cinderella’s Closet program, the Vandenberg Spouses’ Club has collected nearly 250 dresses, in addition to about 50 pairs of shoes and a variety of purses, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and other accessories that can be worn to a variety of military events. They even have in their collection a handful of wedding dresses that can borrowed for the big day.
Bonnie Martin and Heather Dunar, both board members of the Vandenberg Spouses’ Club, spearhead the Cinderella’s Closet initiative, and are thrilled with the recent momentum of the program.
“This has been such a rewarding experience to be involved with on many levels,” said Cinderella’s Closet Chair Bonnie Martin. “It has been incredibly inspiring to see the generosity of people from all walks of life eager to donate and make a difference in the lives of our local military families. Our ability to provide access to so many beautiful gowns certainly helps accomplish our goal of making it easier for military families to attend functions, and we can’t wait to continue building upon this recent success.”
In addition to the annual Military Ball, there are a number of other local events throughout the year that warrant formal attire, including the annual Vandenberg Awards Ceremony on February 16, the Vandenberg Airman Leadership School graduation, the Air Force Ball, holiday parties, and other squadron events.
The new Cinderella’s Closet facility is located in the Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Religious Education Center across from the chapel, and will provide those with base access a place to peruse and try on clothing and accessories.
Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation provided the funding for painting and flooring in the new facility.
Cinderella’s Closet provides gowns from sizes zero to 26 and shoes, jewelry, and purses for free. Those with base access can borrow a dress at no cost, provided they have it dry-cleaned before returning it.
If you would like to donate a dress or accessories to Cinderella’s Closet, you can drop off your donation at this new facility. In Santa Barbara, donations can be dropped off at the Santa Barbara Veterans Memorial Building (112 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93101) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or you can call ahead to schedule an appointment at (805) 568-0020. You can also email Cinderella@vandenbergspousesclub.org for more information.
About Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation
Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in U.S. military efforts. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssens’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.” PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit www.pcvf.org or call (805) 259-4394.
About the Vandenberg Spouses’ Club
The Vandenberg Spouses’ Club is an all-inclusive charitable and social organization dedicated to promoting a sense of belonging to, support for, and a collective voice for the Vandenberg community. The VSC raises money for charitable giving, college scholarships for qualifying dependents and spouses, and youth sports scholarships through the VAFB Youth Center. For more information, visit www.vandenbergspousesclub.org.