LaFrance Cleaners is Proud Sponsor of Kyrsten’s Kloset Prom Dress Drive

Kyrsten’s Kloset is an annual prom dress drive created by the Kyrsten Elizabeth Studer Foundation in memory of Kyrsten who was tragically killed by a drunk driver on April 4, 2003.  In 2013, a decade after the tragedy, Kyrsten’s sister Sarah and friend Janine Baholer decided to give free new and gently used gowns as a way to remember Kyrsten and to include her in prom, a milestone she never reached. The program has grown every year and last year they distributed over 250 prom dresses last year.

This year, Prom dresses will be given out at:

The Roosevelt Gymnasium

110 Orchard Ave.

Hubbard Ohio

Saturday March 11th & Sunday March 12th.

Noon – 4:00pm

Girls who come to the event will be able to shop, try on and take home prom dresses free of charge. The only requirement is to sign a prom promise to not drink and drive. There will be thousands of dresses to choose from and also a wonderful Chinese auction and bake sale.

Dresses as well as accessories and jewelery can be donated at any LaFrance Cleaners location.  LaFrance will clean and do any minor repairs at no charge on all donated dresses.  Chinese auction items and bake sale items can be dropped off on the days of the events from 9:00am – 11:00am.All proceeds go to the Kyrsten Elizabeth Studer Foundation, a non-profit 501c3, to help children and families in need.

For more information or if you would like to volunteer please contact:

Sarah Studer (330)261-5947 or Jennifer Studer (330)565-8246

LaFrance Cleaners Sponsors The Youngstown Playhouse Production of “Harry’s Friendly Service”

Check out WKBN’s feature on “Harry’s Friendly Service” playing the first two weekends in March.

LaFrance Cleaners and The Youngstown Playhouse have been neighbors on Glenwood Ave. for many years. So, when Youngstown Playhouse president, Dr. John Cox, disclosed that their upcoming production of “Harry’s Friendly Service”, makes mention of LaFrance we decided it would be fun to become a sponsor.  We were really excited when we learned that not only is our business mentioned in this Youngstown-themed show, but that we are the only one still in business today.

This will be the Ohio premiere of Youngstown native Rob Zellers’ play.  “Harry’s Friendly Service” takes place at a gas station near the downtown riverfront in 1977 and makes reference to several Youngstown icons including Idora Park, Lazar’s Market, Raver’s Restaurant and LaFrance Cleaners.

The show is directed by Pat Foltz, with Jack Ballantyne serving as stage manager.  The cast members are Matthew Mazuroski, Lynn Nelson Rafferty, Bill Rees, Chuck Simon, John Cox, Anthony Genovese and Carly Genovese.

All performances will be held at Ford Auditorium in Bliss Hall on the YSU campus.   In conjunction with “Harry’s Friendly Service,” the Playhouse will be offering a new series of events at its Playhouse Lane location entitled “Youngstown: Forged in Steel,” a three-evening celebration of Youngstown history and culture at 6 PM on March 7, 8 and 9.   Admission is $5 at the door each night.

Performances of “Harry’s Friendly Service” are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays, March 3, 4, 10 and 11, at 7:30 pm, and Sundays, March 5 and 12, at 2:30 pm. For reservations, please call the Youngstown Playhouse at 330-788-8739 or visit the website at


LaFrance Cleaners and Mary Noble Interviewed on WFMJ about the “Princess at Heart Gala”

Click to watch WFMJ's Jennifer Baligush interview with Mary Noble from Fostering Dreams and Stephen Weiss from LaFrance Cleaners about the "Princess at Heart Gala" for the area's foster children.

Click to watch WFMJ’s Jennifer Baligush interview with Mary Noble from Fostering Dreams and Stephen Weiss from LaFrance Cleaners about the “Princess at Heart Gala” for the area’s foster children.

Hope and Love for Every Princess

My name is Stephen Weiss and I am the owner of LaFrance Cleaners.  I consider myself a lucky man in so many ways.  I grew up in a good home, and my wife and I passed on the love and stability we received to our children.  For all of the foster kids in this country that security and hope just isn’t there, making people like Mary Noble so important.  As a foster mother, she’s opened her heart to dozens of children struggling to find their way in the midst of hardship.  Now, she wants to show all of the foster kids in our community just how much they are loved by hosting a couple of events starting with a gala night, “Princess at Heart”.  Good news travels fast here, and when I found out about her project, I knew that we could help by making LaFrance Cleaners the collection center (and sprucing specialists)  for all of the gala gowns.  I’ll let Mary tell you the rest, but I know that we all can pull together and give these kids a wonderful time and a beautiful memory!

Mary’s Story (in her own words)

Mary Noble with some donated dresses for the "Princess at Heart" gala

Mary Noble with some donated dresses for the “Princess at Heart” gala

My first foster children were three little babies from the same family.  The oldest was one of the most adorable things you’ve ever seen, but at just five years old, she was the one taking care of  her younger brother and sister while their family lived out of a car.  When they came into my home, I just couldn’t shake the look they gave me – their eyes were empty as if they had been robbed of emotion in a way that most of us just can’t imagine.  They couldn’t smile, they’d never learned how from their family.  They were survivors, and surviving doesn’t leave much time for dreams.  Today, it’s 17 years and 64 kids later.  Every one of them is my child, and each day that goes by,  I still see their faces in the pictures on my wall and that empty look in the children who continue to fin new places in my heart and home.  

A while ago, my husband Bob and I started toying with the idea of throwing a party to remind the kids in our foster community just how beautiful, strong and full of potential they truly are.  Our fist go at this would be a “Princess at Heart” gala, and while we knew one night doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, we wanted to help give these kids a reason to smile again.  Even if it was just for a few hours, we could show these girls just how special they are, and most of all, give them a chance to dream again.  Bob and I started saving a bit here and there for the event, and to generate some prayers and good wishes, I posted an announcement on Facebook.  With that post, what started small grew into an amazing show of compassion that will give these girls a night to remember!

My initial Facebook post has been passed all around and back agin! These days I have people who I’ve never met (sent to me by strangers twice removed!) all trying to make this gala one of the best childhood memories for these kids.  Right now our county has about 70 girls in foster care and I would like to see each an every one of them at our ball.  The girls will get to pick out their own beautiful ball gown, get their hair and nails professionally done, and dance the night away.  For one night they can truly be Cinderella  – they already have the key, they show me every day how beautiful their hearts are.  

So much of this night has been donated – stylists, dresses, shoes, trinkets and girly accessories for the gift bags.  Even the venue in Boardman, The Magic Tree, is giving us its facility for the evening, and we’re going to put on a feast full of fun and magic to make some fantastic memories.  My dream is to turn the banquet hall into a castle ballroom with a modern touch!  I want the girls to take home as much as they can, so it would be a dream come true to see one of those fun little photo booths you see at fairs and malls.  We’re not quite there yet to make this possible for all of the girls in the county, but with the community support I really believe we can make this more than a dream.

Mr. Weiss has been outstandingly kind, and not only is he cleaning all of the donated dresses, he’s opening up LaFrance Cleaners as the official drop-off point for donations going to our gala night.  We still need more gowns and dressy shoes, decorations to truly make the night fairy-tale worthy, goodies for the gift bags, and to put the cherry on top, I would love to get a limo service to take all of the girls from Children’s Services to Magic Tree.  When we started out, Bob and I  thought we would just give them a night of good fun, but this has turned into a truly remarkable effort of love coming from all parts of our community, and once we pull this off, we want to keep the ball rolling through Fostering Dreams , the non-profit organization that came out of Princess at Heart.  These are our kids, they come from our town, our community.  They come and live in our homes, and they are loved with all of our hearts.  Listed below are a few ways that you can contribute.

Thank you for helping us show these girls just how precious they truly are!

Mary Noble

Here’s How You Can Help:

  1.  Donate a new or gently used party dress or dressy shoes for a girl aged 2-18 at any LaFrance Cleaners location or give it to your Pick-Up & Delivery driver and let him know that it is for the “Princess at Heart” Gala.  They need all sizes.
  2. You can also donate “fairy-tale worthy” goodies for the gift bags.
  3. You can make a cash or check donation to Fostering Dreams at any LaFrance Cleaners location or you can mail it directly to:

                                                                   Fostering Dreams                                                                                                                           P.O. Box 161                                                                                                                                       Struthers, OH  44471






Get Youngstown Warm Project for The Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley

21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio –

This winter has been downright frigid!  During the recent extreme weather The Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley saw the demand for their services explode.  They were providing shelter and meals for more than twice the number of clients that they normally serve. With temperatures reaching 15 degrees below zero, the “Get Youngstown Warm Project” was an emergency response to a critical situation.

The Rescue Mission had to purchase cots to help deal with the overflow demand.  They were in desperate need of twin sized sheets, blankets, towels and warm clothes for their residents. Our friends at Ballet Western Reserve and the customers and friends of LaFrance Cleaners really stepped up to make a difference.  Getting the word out through the local media, email campaigns and social media, we were able to collect and deliver 6 truckloads of much-needed items to the Rescue Mission.

Thank you to everyone that helped!  It’s nice to know that we have a community of people that step up to help when their neighbors are in need.

Thomas, from LaFrance Cleaner,  preparing a load for delivery to The Rescue Mission for Project Get Youngstown Warm

Thomas, from LaFrance Cleaner, preparing a load for delivery to The Rescue Mission for Project Get Youngstown Warm

21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio –


Help Us Provide 10,000 Meals For Families in the Mahoning Valley

Each fall LaFrance Cleaners joins the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley to raise food and funds through our Clean Up Hunger program.  Through the month of October we will be collecting non-perishable foods and donations at all of our locations and through our Free Home Delivery Service

Here’s Why

The number of people seeking food assistance in the Mahoning Valley is increasing at an alarming rate.  In the first six months of this year there was a 31% increase in households with children and a 20% increase in the number of seniors seeking emergency food assistance over just one year ago.

Everyday costs like gasoline, utilities, and medical expenses are leaving many working poor families and seniors in our community struggling to put food on the table.  In order to provide enough food to feed all of the hungry people in the Mahoning Valley, Second Harvest needs to distribute more than 15 million pounds annually.

Here’s How You Can Help

  • Donate Food:  Bring in a grocery bag full of non-perishable food with your incoming dry cleaning order and LaFrance will give you $5 off your incoming order of $20 or more.
  • Donate Money:  Just send in a monetary donation of at least $10 with your incoming order and LaFrance will give you a portion of your donation in free cleaning.

Donate $10 – Get $5 Off your incoming order of $20 or more.

Donate $20 or more – Get $10 Off your incoming order of $40 or more.

Help us make a difference in the lives of those struggling to get enough to eat.  Please give what you can and accept our sincere thanks.








Let’s Clean Up Hunger in the Valley

September is Clean Up Hunger Month

Every day the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley distributes approximately 35,000 pounds of food to 153 hunger relief agencies in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.  There are nearly 100,000 people at risk of hunger in our community and over one third of them are children.  Unfortunately, the demand keeps growing year after year.

September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide call-to-action effort to mobilize people to get involved with fighting hunger in America.  In support of Hunger Action Month, LaFrance Cleaners has partnered with the Second Harvest Food Bank and Nemenz IGA/Save-a-Lot Food Markets to create our annual ‘Clean Up Hunger’ month.  Throughout September all LaFrance Cleaners and IGA/Save-a-Lot stores will be collecting non-perishable food items at their locations.  LaFrance Cleaners will also be accepting monetary donations at their five locations.

Did you know that 1.5 pounds of food provides 1 meal and that $1 provides 4 meals in our Valley? You can do your part for hunger action month by helping us provide at least 10,000 meals for our neighbors who need them.

Here are several ways that you can help:

Bring non-perishable food items into any LaFrance or Nemenz IGA/Save-a-Lot store. We have Second Harvest Food Bank collection boxes available.  When you bring a donation into LaFrance Cleaners you can ‘Hang a Shirt’ for hunger and receive a $1 voucher to use on your next incoming order.

Make a monetary donation at any LaFrance Cleaners location. When you make a donation of $1, $5, $10 (or more) you can ‘Hang a Shirt’ for hunger and receive a $1 voucher to use on your next incoming order.   You will also be entered into a drawing for $100 in free services from LaFrance with one $100 winner at each location.

Use you credit card to make a donation directly through Second Harvest. You can make a credit card donation directly through Second Harvest by clicking here.  Just write “Clean Up Hunger” in the additional comments box at the end of the form to let them know that you are supporting our campaign.

“Like” LaFrance on Facebook. For every new “Like” that we receive on our Facebook page during the month of September, we will donate $1 to Second Harvest.
Hold your very own food and funds drive at you office or with your friends.  If you would like us to pick up your donations for delivery to Second Harvest, just give us a call.

Most needed food items:

  • Canned Vegetables
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Fruit
  • Tuna Fish
  • Canned Soup
  • Cereal
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Dry Beans
  • Dry Pasta
  • Canned Chili
  • Beef Stew

A third of the hungry in our community our children. This moving segment produced by ABC News profiles child hunger, a major concern both nationwide and here in the Valley.