Community News

Birch Students Beam Rainbows Of Hope Through Dress Shop’s Windows

For Merrick resident Kimberly Towers, it wasn’t enough that she and her employees at Runway Couture dress shop donated 1,500 medical masks to hospital workers. She wanted to do something to lift the spirits of her community while also displaying the talents of her son and his classmates at Birch Elementary School in Merrick.

These talents can be seen on display in the windows at the store, located at 2464 Merrick Road in Bellmore. Towers has been adorning her storefront’s windows with colorful illustrations of rainbows created by students in Traci D’Alessandro’s and Denise Kvint’s kindergarten class. It’s part of a movement that has taken off across the country to bring smiles to the faces of people practicing social distancing during the current COVID-19 crisis.

“The rainbow is a symbol of hope and happiness,” said Towers, whose son was the first to come to her with the idea for posting the pictures in her window. “The store is known for its windows and the different themes we create. It made perfect sense.”

Towers then invited her son’s classmates to contribute their rainbow drawings to the windows with some help from D’Alessandro and Kvint. She also put the word out to her son’s friends and other family friends with young children. Although the shop has been closed since March 20, Runway Couture’s windows beam with color, not only from clothing displayed, but also with the children’s creativity. 

“My son was so excited to see the windows with all of this wonderful artwork,” Towers added. 

“She truly is a wonderful person!” D’Alessandro said of Towers. “Her window display is beautiful,” added Kvint.

Behind the scenes, Towers and her crew at Runway Couture have also played a major role in helping those on the front lines. With the help of her suppliers, including Fabric Warehouse and Home Décor of Wantagh and Andrew Howard Dry Cleaners of Syosset, and members of her dressmaking team, who volunteered many hours of their time, Runway Couture produced 1,500 washable masks which they sent to several area hospitals as their workers treat patients during the pandemic.  

With contributions like these, and the inspirational messages from the children, there is promise of better days ahead on the other side of the rainbow. 

Photo courtesy of the Merrick School District

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