• Commencing a Tradition of Giving

    Jackie Benton and her daughters organize dresses for the 2nd annual Mountain Sky Middle School Dress Quest

    Jackie Benton was getting conflicting information. Her 8th grade daughter would come home from Mountain Sky Middle School talking about needing a new dress for the upcoming graduation, but the school administration would continually send home notes about not dressing up and to simply wear a nice shirt and a pair of jeans or pants.

    So what was it?

    A teacher explained to Jackie that some of the students could not afford to buy new outfits for the graduation. A Duffy Group Project Manager, Jackie Benton is not one to sit back when she sees a need. She reached out to the members of the Moon Valley Chapter of National Charity League, Inc. The National Charity League (NCL) is a leading mother-daughter membership organization focused on volunteerism while instilling values and developing leadership skills.

    Over 200 dresses in various sizes were collected. Every girl who wanted a new dress for the promotion would have the opportunity to have one. Jackie, her daughters and 10 members of NCL met at her home to clean, steam, and organize the dresses by sizes.

    An empty classroom became a dress shop. Racks of beautiful dresses were hung and a make-shift dressing room was created. Teachers volunteered to supervise, while 13- and 14-year-olds came in at lunch or after school to find their graduation outfit.

    The event was a smashing success. Mountain Sky Middle School’s Assistant Principal Barbara Newman told Jackie, “I can’t tell you how wonderful your donation was for our students. It was such a joy to see the girls in the room, looking through and trying on the dresses. Girls were giggling and giving each other compliments, as they helped one another to make the best choice. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share this experience with them. We look forward to continuing this partnership in years to come. It was also fun to see so many of them all dressed up today at their graduation ceremonies.”

    Now in its second year, the Mountain Sky Middle School Dress Quest is proving to be a blessing for many. “I’m happy my daughters and I can work on this project together,” Jackie said. “I try to set an example for them that if you see a need, do something about it. Don’t wait for someone else to do it.”

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