Suit up! Clothing drive will be held on Saturday

Greenwich’s Vineyard Vines and the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association are teaming with the Save-A-Suit Foundation this Saturday, Sept. 29, for an event that will provide local, underserved veterans with professional attire.

The foundation is a Connecticut-based organization that “improves first impressions of the underserved” so they may begin their careers. They do this by providing professional attire and guidance to college graduates and former military personnel to build their confidence and allow their skills, not how they look, to be the focus of job interviews.

According to Leslie Tracey, community outreach coordinator for Save-A-Suit, the concept of teaming up with Vineyard Vines and the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association began when the association’s president, Bruce McGuire, discovered Save-A-Suit and wanted to help.

Mr. McGuire suggested Greenwich Avenue as a prime location for an event and after representatives from Save-A-Suit ran into Vineyard Vines general manager Millie Harris and recognized her enthusiasm for the project, the partnership was official, Ms. Tracey said.

The purpose of Saturday’s event, which takes place during regular store hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is to collect lightly worn men’s and women’s business suits from the community. People stopping by the store will also be able to enjoy refreshments and have the opportunity to ask questions of representatives from Save-A-Suit.

A special discount event, however, has already begun and will run through Oct. 6. The event allows Vineyard Vines shoppers who have the proper voucher to receive a 10% discount at the store. And then 10% of the sales will be donated to the Save-A-Suit Foundation, Ms. Tracey explained.

Both the donation and special discount affairs will culminate in the foundation’s Suit Up giveaway event at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville on Nov. 10, when the suits collected at Vineyard Vines are distributed to unemployed veterans. The event will also include a live band as well as mock interviews and résumé tips for the former military personnel to try and get people prepared for job interviews.

Ms. Tracey said that Save-A-Suit is optimistic that residents will be willing to donate suits on Saturday and hopes to collect at least 500 of them, having contacted nearly 10,000 people regarding the cause.

It’s the two-year-old organization’s first corporate event and also its first time working in town. If all goes as planned, she said, it is likely the event will be opened to all of Greenwich Avenue in the future to create one giant affair.

Those who wish to participate in the Vineyard Vines special discount event may obtain participant vouchers at Greenwich Library or by contacting Leslie Tracey at [email protected]

Save-A-Suit is also in need of plenty of volunteers for the Nov. 10 Suit Up event and those interested may also contact Ms. Tracey.


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