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Cinderella visits Covington
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Two Cinderellas and their Fairy Godmother were in Covington Tuesday, helping hospital volunteers raise $706 to go toward the purchase of new equipment for Newton Medical Center's emergency room.

Volunteers held a sale Tuesday at The Cinderella Shop, a store in Morgan Plaza that sells gently-worn women's clothing as well as linens, luggage, small decorative items and jewelry and donates all proceeds to the hospital. The store celebrated its 20th year of existence.

The shop's founder Peggy Gainer played the role of Fairy Godmother to her granddaughter Emily Gainer, a 17-year-old junior at Providence Christian Academy, who dressed up as Cinderella. Three-year-old Torianna Losch was the Cinderella for the next generation.

"Just like waving the magic wand, The Cinderella Shop has been transforming wardrobes for ladies over the past 20 years. Maybe not from rags to riches, but the bargain prices have made it possible to be well dressed on a budget," said Martha Taylor with the Newton Medical Auxiliary.

Shop Manager Peggy Chancey said women's jackets and purses were particularly popular Tuesday, but the store also sells prom and wedding dresses. The store, located at 2145 Pace St. no. B in Covington, is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

This year the auxiliary is trying to raise $406,000 to outfit eight emergency rooms with new equipment; $150,000 has been raised so far.

The Cinderella Shop's history began with a trip to Albuquerque, N.M. Peggy Gainer and a group of her friends had been invited by the American Hospital Association to present their award winning fundraising programs to assist a hospital there in bringing in revenue. In the years before, they had directed and produced a stage production at the Porter Auditorium to raise funds for Newton Medical Center and recruit volunteers.

While at the meeting, Gainer heard another presentation that sparked a new interest in her heart. She came up with an idea of a place where people could donate gently-worn clothes for a tax-write off. The clothes would then be sold back to the community for a profit to be used to purchase equipment for the hospital.

Gainer soon received a name from her project from Martha Tanner. The store was called The Cinderella Shop.
Originally located on Floyd Street, the store opened Feb. 28, 1992. During the grand opening, Cinderella, Prince Charming and even the Fairy Godmother were there to greet the public.

The store later relocated in 2000 to Morgan Plaza, where it received a full make over, including a new look on the inside as well as the outside.

"The Cinderella Shop has a wonderful group of ladies who volunteer under the direction of Peggy Chancey, the shop manager. These ladies are helpful and knowledgeable and are there to make shopping enjoyable," Taylor said.