Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo: PSC Spouses' Club brings Cinderella's Closet to Peterson AFB
By Lori O'Donley, 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 02, 2015
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Turns out one does not have to look far for a fairy godmother. The Peterson, Schriever, Cheyenne Mountain Spouses' Club teamed up to open Cinderella's Closet; a one-stop shop for women to borrow formal wear on those special occasions.
Cinderella's Closet is available to anyone, and there is no cost to borrow a dress. You choose a gown, have it dry-cleaned, and bring the receipt when you return the dress.
Maj. Gen. Terrance Feehan donated several of his late wife's dresses to the Thrift Shop. This donation sparked the idea of creating a space where women of all ages and sizes could come borrow formal dresses, shoes, and accessories for a special occasion events, such as homecoming, Airmen Leadership School dinners or the Air Force Ball.
Cinderella's Closet was the brainchild of Rhonda Chozinski, PSC Spouses' Club president. "It was Laura Hyten [wife of Gen. John E. Hyten, commander, Air Force Space Command] who took the idea and ran with it," said Chozinski.
Renee Ekman, the new Thrift Shop manager, and Debbie Schiess, wife of 21st Space Wing commander Douglas Schiess, brainstormed ways to help Hyten transform her idea into a reality. Both are PSC Spouses' Club members.
Ekman and Schiess collaborated and pooled their respective talents to decorate the space different from the rest of the store. Ekman, an avid thrifter, found furniture and paintings to furnish the room, while Schiess painted elegant designs and decorated.
"We want people to feel special," said Schiess.
"Cinderella's Closet serves everyone from girls in high school looking to go to prom, to all ranks, and styles ranging from very young to mature," said Schiess. "I just want people to know we are here. Come, look and see what we have to offer. Share the wealth; look in your closet to see if you have any dresses to donate."
Cinderella's Closet isn't the only change in the Thrift Shop.
Over the summer, the Thrift Shop moved across the street from the R.P. Lee Youth Center.
The move brought welcomed changes such as a larger facility and children's clothing, holiday/seasonal items, and credit card payments.
"We want to encourage people to shop here first," said Rush. "If you can't find what you need here, then go to the BX, then off base. You can find things from Germany, Japan and all over the world that you can't buy off base."
"We really need to give a big shout out to the folks in the 21st Communications Squadron and 21st Civil Engineer Squadron who supported us through this move," said Kathy Rush, previous Thrift Shop manager. "We couldn't have done this without them."
Staff and volunteers noticed an increase in the number of visitors now that the shop is closer to housing, the Airmen's Attic, and the youth center.
"It is a great resource people on base can use," said Ekman.
Proceeds from the Thrift Shop go back into the base and towards scholarships.
Every spring, the Spouses Club offers college scholarships.
"It was open only to dependent high school seniors and spouses," said Chozinski. Next year's scholarship will be open to [dependent] college students, she said.
The Thrift Shop aims to give back to our military community, but it's not able to do so without the help of its volunteers.
"We are so excited to have active-duty dependents who are volunteers," said Rush. "We sign off on volunteer hours, and we are a good way to get in volunteer hours. It's been great, new volunteers, new consignees."
"Military volunteers can come by at any time during business hours to volunteer," said Ekman. "We can always use their help."
With the holidays fast approaching, the shop is accepting formal dresses of all sizes and styles, children's clothing of all sizes, and seasonal items.
The shop is located in building 615 across from the youth center. Hours are Tuesdays - Fridays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., and the first and third Saturday from 10 a.m. - noon.