On Thursday, April 14, NMG Media Group and MarketFair proudly presented a check for $1,250 to Dress for Success Central Jersey. This money will go a long way toward helping the nonprofit group carry out its mission to help women prepare for the job market.
The proceeds were generated by a special “VIP Experience” co-sponsored by the shopping mall on Route 1 in West Windsor Township and the newspaper publishing group at their Spring Preview Ladies Night on March 24.
MarketFair and Newspaper Media Group have had a long-standing events-based partnership that enables community members to engage with central New Jersey businesses and mall retailers, said Michelle Donnelly, director of Events for NMG.
The mall and the newspaper group had planned to hold the event – which was intended to benefit Dress for Success Central New Jersey – in March 2020, but it was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fast forward to 2022, and the decision was made to go ahead with the event.
About 200 attendees plus 50 VIPs participated in a variety of activities at the Spring Preview Ladies Night – from wine-glass painting to mini HydraFacials and exclusive shopping discounts, said Doreen Valdes, the marketing manager for MarketFair.
“The event showcases our retailers, engages the community, and raises money for a great cause,” Valdes said.
The Spring Preview Ladies Night event, however, offered an additional component – the VIP Experience – that MarketFair and NMG had not previously had a chance to implement, Donnelly said.
“Our VIP Experience provided a special group of local women the opportunity to participate in a pre-event cocktail hour at Seasons 52 and a post-event dessert reception at TGIFriday’s,” she said.
Donnelly and Valdes agreed that Dress for Success Central New Jersey and MarketFair made a good fit. Dress for Success helps women in myriad ways – from putting together professional attire for job interviews to job placement assistance.
“When considering a local organization to partner with for an event targeting women and involving mall retailers, Dress for Success seemed like the clearest option,” Donnelly said.
Melissa Tenzer, the chief executive officer for Dress for Success Central New Jersey, said the decision to hold the fundraising event in March also tied in with March as Women’s History Month. Dress for Success Central New Jersey is really about women empowering other women, Tenzer said. It achieves that goal by providing women with a network of support – from having a mentor to information on how to get a job, how to write a resume and how to handle a job interview.
“MarketFair customers are shopping for a cause: to support Dress for Success Central New Jersey,” Tenzer said. “Money raised by the event goes to the workforce development program. Every dollar counts when it comes to nonprofit groups.”
The women can also choose professional attire for the initial job interview, and five more sets of professional clothing once they are hired, Tenzer said. The clothing is stored at the Dress for Success Central New Jersey’s office on Princeton Pike in Lawrence Township.
Although its office is in Lawrence Township, Dress for Success Central New Jersey covers a wide swath of the state: Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Hunterdon, Ocean and Union counties.