FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 17, 2015) – Planning for this year’s Love that Dress!7 is underway, and organizers have revamped the traditional collection parties leading up to the main shopping event in August.

“Building on the momentum of this successful fundraiser, we realized we needed to streamline the events leading up to the big event,” said Sandy Stilwell, board chair for PACE Center for Girls. “Signifying our seventh year, we will have just seven signature dress collection fundraisers strategically hosted at locations across Lee County prior to the main event.”

This year’s main event will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at the Embassy Suites in Estero, located at 10450 Corkscrew Commons Drive. In the months leading up to the event, members of the Southwest Florida community are asked to donate new and gently ”loved” dresses and accessories at collection parties and convenient drop-off locations across the county. Collection parties hosted by generous local businesses and organizations are a great way to connect with community members and sample the local fare, all while collecting inventory, raising funds and generating awareness for the main event.

During the main event, attendees will enjoy the huge inventory with friends, a silent auction full of unique packages, and cocktails. Suite and VIP ticket holders are granted access to early shopping, private dressing rooms, clothing holds, express check-out service, complimentary adult beverages, hors d’oeuvres and a private selection of decadent chocolates.

All proceeds from Love That Dress!7 will benefit the PACE Center for Girls of Lee County. PACE is a non-residential program targeting the unique needs of girls, ages 12 to 18, facing challenges such as physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, foster care, neglect, death of a parent, family history of incarceration and declining grades.

This year’s dress collection parties scheduled to date include the sixth annual Spada-thon at SPADA Salon & Day Spa, located at 13161 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers, on Tuesday, May 19; SS Hookers, located at 17501 Harbour Pointe Drive in Fort Myers, on Thursday, June 11; Miromar Outlets, located at 10801 Corkscrew Road in Estero, on Wednesday, June 24; Rum Runners Restaurant, located at 5848 Cape Harbour Drive in Cape Coral, on Wednesday, July 8; Goodwill Boutique on First, located at 2401 First Street in downtown Fort Myers, and The Firestone After Party, located at 2224 Bay Street in Downtown Fort Myers, both on Thursday, July 16; and the Lucky Number 7 Wrap Up Party at Six Bends Harley-Davidson, located at 9501 Thunder Road in Fort Myers, on Friday, Aug. 7.

Love That Dress!7 event chair and co-chair are Shelley Starner, assistant general manager of Miromar Outlets, and Jennifer Pfenninger, director of sales at Embassy Suites in Estero.

Last year, nearly 4,000 new and gently loved dresses were sold at the shopping event, raising more than $125,000 for PACE.

“Each year, we look forward to Love That Dress!,” said Meg M. Geltner, executive director of PACE Center for Girls. “Our collection party hosts and Love That Dress! committee have a wonderful series of events lined up for us this year.”

According to Geltner, this year’s Love That Dress! collection goal is to receive 4,000 new and gently loved dresses and raise more than $120,000.

PACE Center for Girls is a Florida-based, nonprofit organization and the only statewide prevention program for adolescent at-risk girls in the nation. In the past year, the Lee County program provided 116 girls with education, counseling, training and advocacy, resulting in 94 percent of girls in the program having no involvement with juvenile justice within six months of leaving PACE, 88 percent improving their academic performance and 80 percent remaining in school or obtaining employment three years after leaving PACE. As a result, PACE reduces the significant long-term costs associated with teen pregnancy, substance use, unemployment and long-term economic dependency.

PACE accepts referrals from the juvenile justice system, the Department of Children and Families, school personnel, community-service agencies, parents, family members and friends, as well as self-referrals.

Anyone interested in hosting a collection party in support of Love That Dress!7 may contact Allyson Ross, special events associate at PACE, at

For more information about the event, call 239-470-7548, visit or search “Love That Dress, Lee” on Facebook.