Our History



How it All Started

The magic began in March 2005 when five friends from Dublin, Ohio were on a girlstrip to Chicago. While there, they became aware of The Glass Slipper Project which is an organization that gifts prom dresses and accessories free of charge to high school girls in need in the Chicago area.

The First Boutique

After returning to Columbus, these women could not get the thoughts of how happy the girls must be and how wonderful it would be to create that same joy here in Columbus. They resolved to make it happen. Within five months, these resourceful women organized Fairy Goodmothers, formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, held their first fund raiser, and then secured and cleaned a vacant warehouse space on Spring Street in downtown Columbus for a Spring 2006 Cinderella’s Closet. Prom gowns, shoes and accessories were collected and Fairy Goodmothers actively promoted the news that free prom dresses and accessories were available. Success! Over 200 girls were gifted with prom gowns and accessories at the 2006 Cinderella’s Closet. Without Fairy Goodmothers, these girls would have been unable to attend prom and have their dreams come true.

The Founding Fairies

These five women are our original Founding Fairies. Their names are Lynn Boston, Casey Cseplo, Joanne Holdreith, Barb Tingley and Kay Wilhelm. They dedicated the organization to supporting and increasing the self-esteem of central Ohio high school girls by gifting prom gowns and accessories to those girls who did not have the means to purchase the items for themselves. Joanne Holdreith was the creative thinking behind the Fairy Goodmothers’ name and Linda Kick who was active for several years with the Fairies, dubbed the name of our gifting event, Cinderella’s Closet Boutique (CCB).

That first year, the Fairies recruited volunteers; among them Peggy Buckles, Terri Butler (our loyal photographer) Kathleen Haunty (who brought the graphic design ability of her husband Jack) and Marcia Garvey. Their expertise catapulted the Fairies even further. The next year dedicated volunteers who worked tirelessly to achieve continued success included; Toni Carter, Jill Fergus, Tanya Irelan, Tracy McCallister, Marcy Orchard, Mary Slane, and Betsy Willi. These women became future leaders of the organization and were later joined by Anne Houser, Lisa Esham, Judy Smith, Emily Riemer, Sherry Kish and Karina Nova, plus numerous others. Many of these women are still involved in Fairy Goodmothers today.

Today

Currently, Fairy Goodmothers has approximately 250 volunteers involved throughout the year, and has gifted more than 9,000 gowns from its first Cinderella’s Closet in 2006 through the 2016 prom season. All this joy resulting from the vision of five friends on a girls’ trip to Chicago.