M-W freshman Pablo Quinones is the founder of Bella Notte, an organization that provides formal attire to students free of charge…a concept he came up with when he was just nine years old.
Pablo is proof that one person can make a big difference. In the past five years since his mother Martha helped bring his idea to life, many girls have benefitted from his compassion and drive. His mission has continued to spread; through Bella Notte (or beautiful night in Italian), he has has collected hundreds of lightly used dresses that have been donated to girls who wouldn’t otherwise be able to purchase a dress for a prom or other formal event. This year, the first tuxedo was donated and snatched up in a matter of days.
Students are encouraged to contact Bella Notte if they are in need of formal wear for the prom or some other occasion. According to Pablo, there are lots of dresses to choose from, in many colors and styles. All dresses, tuxedos, shoes and accessories are free of charge to anyone who shows their student ID. If you are a student (or know of a student) who is in need of formal clothing, please call 845-641-4268. Bella Notte accepts donations throughout the year and is hoping to add more tuxedos to their offerings.
It takes a village to when it comes to providing a memorable night for students. This group effort includes members of the Monroe-Woodbury community who have donated dresses and accessories; Vails Gate Cleaners, which cleans and presses them; Uncle Bob’s Storage, which provides space to store all the dresses; and the South Orange YMCA, 45 Gilbert Street extension, Monroe, which serves as a drop off location for dresses, tuxes and accessories.
When Pablo was asked what the best part of his endeavor is, he responded, “Everything about it is great. My friends help and I feel like we bond better. It feels good to help people.”