Cinderella’s Closet

Cinderella’s Closet has found a home!  After years of being housed between Suzanne’s home and Nicky’s Resale Fashions in Christiansburg, we have given it a permanent home in our new office at 431 Apperson Drive, Salem Virginia.

Now people will be able to come in prior to events, by appointment, and browse the closet to pick out their attire, avoiding some of the hustle and bustle at conference times.  We are excited, not only to be able to offer this now, but to not have to move this inventory again!


Cinderella’s Closet is the creation of Suzanne O’Connell.  She works tirelessly, while living with MS herself, to provide the opportunity for people to feel like Cinderella and Prince Charming – if only for one night.  Living with MS (the wicked stepsister) can take away many things in life, but for one night, participants can put all of that aside and feel like a Prince or Princess.  Participants can select a flowing gown or handsome suit, a new hairdo and makeup, shoes with bling, and sparkling jewelry.  “Fairy Godmothers” help each person select, try on, and accessorize a beautiful gown or suit.

Our little ‘mice’ make sure that each outfit is a perfect fit, hemmed, pressed, and ready for the ball.  Hair stylists and makeup professionals are onsite so that each participant can be treated to a personal pampering session with a hair stylist for a new hair cut or ‘do’ and a special makeup professional to help them look their very best for the evening.  Everyone is invited to the ball for the fashion parade, presentation of makeovers, socializing, and dancing.  For that night, we will “live like there is NO midnight!”

In preparation for this event, we ask for donations of formal and semi-formal wear for men, women and children, shoes, bags, costume jewelry, scarves, wraps, men’s shirts and ties, and any other items that might make a person feel beautiful or handsome!

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.  Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or as severe as paralysis and loss of vision.  Our participants living with MS sometimes must put all of their energy into making it through each day.  Many times, feeling beautiful and pampered is just not on their radar.  Whether for financial reasons, or because of accessibility issues, the opportunity Cinderella’s Closet provides is just not feasible to many people.

For several years, Cinderella’s Closet was brought to the MS Society Brian Mason Weekend Escape at Smith Mountain Lake.  What started as a handful of people dressing folks for this retreat turned into a full-fledged operation in a matter of a few years and became one of the most popular activities of the Escape.

In 2015, when the MS Alliance of Virginia was formed, Cinderella’s Closet was folded under the auspices of this non-profit and is now operated by this organization.

In 2017, Cinderella’s Closet brought its glamour to the July MS Conference & Retreat hosted by the MSAV, which is designed to give MS patients and their caregivers a chance to relax and take a break from the stresses of the everyday life of living with MS.  Backed by our facilitators and an amazing Volunteer Staff, participants rested easy knowing that they could enjoy the hot summer days in an air-conditioned environment while they took part in a fun-filled weekend of educational activities and relaxation.