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Marissa’s Closet benefit on Saturday

Dinner-dance will help expansion into counseling

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Marissa’s Closet benefit on Saturday

A benefit Saturday will help keep the doors of Marissa’s Closet open in downtown Ripon.

Bulletin file photo/


POSTED April 26, 2013 2:03 a.m.

Marissa’s Closet would like their friends and supporters to eat together and dance the night away in a fundraiser at Ripon’s Community Center Saturday night from 6 until midnight.

The event fundraiser will include a silent auction and raffle at Locust Avenue and Fourth Street in the center of the community.

Marissa’s Closet mission statement is not just about providing prom dresses for deserving young women but also for providing counseling for teens in need who might otherwise harm themselves in their depression.  The closet operation has recently moved into new quarters at 102 West Main Street where they are creating a counseling suite at the rear of the building.

Melinda Shaw said that her late daughter Marissa’s mission was to help improve the lives of Ripon’s youth first hand – a need that she witnessed in her high school years at Ripon High.

“Although no longer on this earth, she inspired the opening of Marissa’s Closet in 2010 as well as the Marissa Alexandria Center slated to open later this year.  Marissa is still changing lives exactly the way she had envisioned,” her mother said.

“We are especially enthusiastic about the Marissa Alexandria Center,” Shaw added. “With the myriad of difficulties overwhelming our youth, it is our purpose to meet their needs with qualified professional counselors, topics specific, speakers and community outreach.”

She said the center will focus on educating the community on the ways and consequences of bullying, cutting, suicide and more to help empower a community willing to help.

Marissa’s Closet is a non-profit community-based organization that helps those in need. 

“Our initial goal was to collect and distribute prom dresses to young women less fortunate.  The dresses are available to any student at no cost.  To date the closet has worked locally and internationally to give away more than 12,000 dresses, sponsor several youth and special needs events, the awarding of scholarships and much more,” Shaw said.

Dance tickets are $25 per person with an age minimum of 18 years old.  For additional information contact marissascloset@yahoo.com or phone (209) 613-0836.

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