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Frank and Marina Lamitina: Great Garment Giveaway

Frank-Marina.jpgLast May, when ARS/Rescue Rooter called on its branches to donate dresses for a dress drive, Frank Lamitina and his wife Marina knew that they could do something extraordinary due to their former circumstances. So when Frank, an employee at AJ Perri, and his wife reached out to the corporate office, ARS had no idea how large the donation would be, or the impact it would have for women who needed them. The over 3,000 item donation was used in part for a special giveaway for some Night to Shine guests, and the ecstatic women with special needs got pick out dresses from this substantial donation, and the smiles, giggles and twirling were measure of a job well-done for Team ARS.

Frank and his wife Marina owned Queen Grace, women's apperal company in Florida, which carried high-end women’s clothing. She carried beautiful clothes in plus sizes, and she filled a niche in their home of Naples, Florida, for women of all sizes who wanted to dress in something truly elegant. However, in 2013, Marina had to suddenly sell her business in Florida; Marina discovered she had Stage Four Lymphoma cancer, and she needed a variety of treatments available to her in New Jersey. Therefore, Frank and Marina found a home in New Jersey and at the AJ Perri branch, and Queen Grace had to shut its doors with its inventory went into storage.

Like most of the employees at the ARS branches, Frank is a supporter of the Tim Tebow Foundation, an organization founded by Tebow that acts as an outreach to children in need. The foundation hosts an event called Night to Shine, a prom event for children of special needs. Here at ARS, we are the first ever Global Partner for Night to Shine, and that relationship will ensure future success and help pave the way for continued growth of the event. So when ARS Corporate called for dresses for the event, Frank answered that call in a big way.

With Frank employed with AJ Perri in New Jersey and Marina having dresses in inventory, the couple knew exactly what to do: donate what they had to the drive, and let women who would not be able to otherwise feel beautiful look stunning. Marina told ARS staff that she sold her business and had “some clothes to donate.” The garments have been inventoried and are ready for the team at ARS/Rescue Rooter to distribute to women all over the country that deserve to look as beautiful as they are. About 500 prom style dresses were donated to Night to Shine, and the rest of the over 2,500 garments have been donated to Dress for Success.
At the Great Garment Giveaway, held on January 21 at Hope Church,
Great-Garment-Giveaway.jpgover 30 girls in the Memphis area a chance to pick out prom dresses from Frank and Marina’s donation. ARS partnered with Hope Church’s program for people with special needs, called Macky and Friends, and the ladies with special needs arrived and were elated at the wide variety of choices: and in sizes that could accommodate some of their special needs. There was dancing, spinning, and big hugs. Every girl there felt like the princess she is! Team ARS cannot wait to see some of these dresses in action on the dance floor at Night to Shine. 

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