More than 450 fashionistas and community supporters recently came together for the 10th annual Love That Dress! fundraising event, raising $157,000 and climbing in support of PACE Center for Girls, Lee County.

The ultimate feel-good shopping spree of the year featured shopping, music, silent auctions and cocktails at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Estero, with more than 2,000 dresses available for purchase at deeply discounted prices. All proceeds from the event benefit PACE’s programs and services, which assist girls ages 11 to 18 who have multiple risk factors impacting their academic achievement, including family income, substance abuse, domestic violence, foster home placement, neglect, grief, incarceration of a family member and physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

“Over the past 10 years, Love That Dress! has played a monumental role in supporting PACE’s efforts to bring education, counseling, training and advocacy to hundreds of local girls and young women,” said Meg M. Geltner, executive director at PACE Center for Girls of Lee County. “Thanks to the many giving hearts within our community, we are able to help these girls become strong, productive young women living a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace.”

Celebrating 10 years of the community’s obsession with fashion and giving, the annual Love That Dress! fundraiser solicits donations of new and gently loved dresses, handbags, shoes and accessories. Thanks to a series of dress collection events and the generosity of local businesses and community donors, the event offered an expansive inventory of fashion-forward apparel, further supplemented by hundreds of brand new products from Love That Dress! title sponsor White House Black Market.

This year’s event also offered the chance to win a two-year lease for a 2018 INFINITI Q50 2.0t Pure, which was awarded to Michelle Ciufetelli.

“The 10th annual Love That Dress! event was a resounding success, and we are humbled by the community’s overwhelming generosity in support of our PACE girls,” said Event Chair Deanna Hansen. “We are so thankful for the many volunteers, sponsors, supporters and shoppers who played a fundamental role in the success of this event’s milestone year, and we look forward to another decade of fun, fashion and honoring the female spirit.”

Presenting sponsors for Love That Dress! include White House Black Market as the Title Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Priority Marketing, Stilwell Enterprises, St. Charles Yacht Club, IBERIABANK, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, ABC-7, Gulfshore Life, Fort Myers Infiniti, Miromar Outlets, Embassy Suites by Hilton, California Closets, Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, Dr. Garramone Plastic Surgery, Arias Law Firm, Get Efficient, LLC., Seminole Casino Hotel, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright and Co. P.A, Florida Marina Clubs and Noelle Melanson, Deanna Hansen and Cheryl Komnick, Anne Wittenborn, Alexandra Bremner, The News-Press Media Group, 96.9 WINK-FM, House of Wu, Image Matters, New Beginnings Events, Nu Image Dry Cleaners, Atilus, LLC, Jason’s Deli, Living Local, Naples Flatbread Kitchen & Bar, Prawnbroker Restaurant Group, Famous Dave’s, Priority Payments of South Florida, Caloosa Tent & Rental, A. Jaron Fine Jewelry, Signs Now, Lightning Wireless Solutions, Inc., and Rachel Allan.

To learn more about PACE Center for Girls, Lee County and its programs, please visit www.pacecenter.org/locations/lee or call 239-425-2366.

About PACE Center for Girls, Lee County

Since 2007, PACE Center for Girls, Lee County has been providing girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. The gender-specific, strength-based program is one of 20 Centers throughout Florida, and is known throughout the nation as a best practices model for diverting girls from the juvenile justice system. PACE is a registered not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of individuals, businesses, civic/community organizations and churches in Lee County in order to serve girls and their families. Since its inception, PACE Center for Girls, Lee County has served more than 650 at-promise girls and young women, believing each one deserves an opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace. For more information on PACE Center for Girls, Lee County, call 239-425-2366 or visit www.pacecenter.org/locations/lee.