No savings at 40? I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 dividend stocks to retire on a passive income

first_img Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Enter Your Email Address Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. If you’ve reached 40 years of age without any pension savings, there’s no need to panic. It’s never too late to start saving for the future. Here are two FTSE 100 dividend stocks that could help you build a sizable pension nest egg… starting today.International Consolidated Airlines GroupBritish Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (LSE: IAG) is one of the London market’s greatest success stories.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Eight years ago, the company was struggling to turn a profit. However, under the stewardship of former pilot Willie Walsh, the group has soared. It is now one of the largest airline holding companies in the world with a market capitalisation of £12.7bn. For 2019, the organisation is on track to report a net profit of £2.3bn.According to aerospace group Airbus, air traffic will grow 4.3% annually between 2019 and 2028, and IAG is well-positioned to grow in line with this market. This suggests the company can continue to produce returns for investors for many decades to come.Right now, shares in the airline group look cheap as well. The stock is dealing at a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 6.9, which suggests the shares offer a wide margin of safety at current prices.There’s also a dividend yield of 4.2% for income seekers. As the payout is covered 3.3 times by earnings per share, it looks as if there’s plenty of room for the distribution to grow in line with earnings for the foreseeable future.easyJetA rising number of air travellers should also help low-cost airline easyJet (LSE: EZJ). Recent trading updates show the number of passengers on its planes is still rising and this growth shows no signs of slowing.Total group revenue for the quarter ending 31 December increased by 9.9% to £1.4bn. Meanwhile, total passenger numbers rose 2.8% to 22.2m.Load factor, a measure of how full the company’s planes are, grew by 1.6% to 91.3% despite an increase in capacity (new aircraft) of 1% to 24.3m.These numbers suggest passengers are continuing to flock to easyJet’s offering and the group isn’t struggling to fill the new planes it’s ordering.Management is planning to expand capacity by a further 3% this year. Growth should also receive a boost from the group’s new business, easyJet holidays.Launched last year, the new business will breakeven in September 2020, according to management. easyJet has been able to use its international footprint and scale to offer customers good quality holidays at a low cost.easyJet has come a long way since its IPO in 2000. Considering all of the above, it looks as if the company’s growth will continue for the next two decades as well.A P/E of 15.3 doesn’t look too expensive for this growth stock. Meanwhile, a dividend yield of 3.3% only adds to the appeal. As such, now could be the time to snap up a share in this income and growth champion for the long haul. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Image source: Getty Images. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool.center_img Rupert Hargreaves | Wednesday, 22nd January, 2020 | More on: EZJ IAG See all posts by Rupert Hargreaves “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” No savings at 40? I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 dividend stocks to retire on a passive income I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.last_img read more

Front row sparks mass brawl and three red cards in Brive vs Grenoble clash

first_imgMonday Sep 12, 2016 Front row sparks mass brawl and three red cards in Brive vs Grenoble clash A mass brawl broke out shortly before halftime in a fiery Grenoble vs Brive Top 14 match on Sunday. Starting in the front row after a scrum, it took little time for the backs to get involved, as well as replacement players and staff members on the sidelines.Tongan prop Sona Taumalolo was in the heart of it as Brive prop Damien Jourdain took exception to being driven off his feet at the scrum, prompting him to have a go at Taumalolo.It didn’t take long for everyone to get involved, as little pods broke off and whenever it seemed like it would stop, things fired up again. One player even got tossed over the advertising hoardings.Nigel Hunt threw a number of punches, but he was not the only one, as there were a few cheap shots coming in despite some players trying to cool things down.The referee referred to his assistants and tv replays and chose to red card the supposed instigators, Jourdain and Taumalolo, and then for throwing multiple punches, he also red carded Kiwi Hunt.Twenty minutes into the second half there was another yellow card, so it was 13 vs 13 for a while, and each side received another yellow card each before the end of the match. There was also an alleged eye-gouge after Grenoble scored their third try. Grenoble went on to win the match 36-23.ADVERTISEMENT Posted By: rugbydump Share Send Thanks Sorry there has been an error Big Hits & Dirty Play Related Articles 25 WEEKS AGO Suspensions handed down after testicle grabbing… 26 WEEKS AGO The ‘double ruffle’ splits opinion with fans… 26 WEEKS AGO WATCH: The nastiest and most brutal moments… From the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedYou Won’t Believe What the World’s Most Beautiful Girl Looks Like TodayNueeyUrologists Stunned: Forget the Blue Pill, This “Fixes” Your EDSmart Life ReportsGranny Stuns Doctors by Removing Her Wrinkles with This Inexpensive TipSmart Life ReportsIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier Living30+ Everyday Items with a Secret Hidden PurposeNueeyThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Colombian President Highlights Mexico’s Fight Against Drugs

first_img Santos also presented Mexican Secretary of Public Safety Genaro García Luna and U.S. Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Morton with the Medal for Merit in recognition of their cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos highlighted the fight against drugs waged by the administration of his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderón, and insisted that this fight should be a global one. “President Calderón understood that in dealing with drug traffickers and drug cartels, it’s necessary to confront them with courage, with force,” said Santos, who also lamented the “high price” that Mexico has paid in “that courageous and necessary action.” By Dialogo May 23, 2011 “This fight against drug trafficking has to be a global fight. A single country can’t fight against such a plague,” the president added, speaking at a police graduation ceremony in Bogotá. last_img read more

The CUInsight Experience podcast: Deepthi Dommaraju – Listen, learn and lead (#55)

first_imgWelcome to episode 55 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host Randy Smith, co-founder of CUInsight.com. This episode is brought to you by our friends at CO-OP Financial Services. CO-OP is your trusted payments processing partner whose mission is to drive the credit union movement forward.In this episode, Randy is speaking with Deepthi Dommaraju. She is the Vice President of Data Analysis at Trellance, which offers data analytics solutions to help credit unions revolutionize the products and experience they provide to their members. They talk about data analytics, women in tech, and of all things what she has learned from restaurant ownership.They discuss her team, the inspiration for taking the position with Trellance, and how the inspiration has changed over the years. She believes that jumping to conclusions too quickly is a mistake that new leaders make and that you should always leave emotions out of business decisions. Deepthi speaks about her mentors, why she chooses to mentor today, and what she does to wind down. Can you say Bollywood dance. Listen in and hear from a woman that leads in the technology field. She is very knowledgeable in many industries and has a lot of wisdom to share. This is an episode that needs to be heard, and one you don’t want to miss. Enjoy!Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, StitcherBooks mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book ListHow to find Deepthi:Deepthi Dommaraju, VP of Data Analysis at [email protected] | Blog Show notes from this episode:Shout-out: To our friends at CO-OP Financial Services, our first sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast.Check out everything going on at Trellance. They are doing some cool stuff to help credit unions.Shout-out: Shelly-Ann Wilson HenryShout-out: To our friends at CUNA and the NCUA for their work on DEI.Shout-out: Jill NowackiA great article from Trellance on data: Data Management Framework – 7 essential componentsAlso check out the Vendor Evaluation Services from Trellance here.Shout-out: Robbie and Stu YoungBook mentioned: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff SutherlandShout-out: Mollie BellTrellance acquired OnApproach early in 2019. Read about it here.Shout-out: To our friends at ACCOSCA and George OmbadoBook mentioned: Start With Why by Simon SinekBook mentioned: Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis BradberryPrevious guests mentioned in this episode: Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18 & 37), Mollie Bell, George OmbadoYou can find all past episodes of The CUInsight Experience here. In This Episode:[01:30] – Deepthi welcome to the show![02:22] – She discusses the challenges she has seen for women in tech.[03:30] – Was it intentional for women to hold more tech positions in your company?[04:50] – What is your advice for women who want to lead a team as you do?[05:16] – Deepthi talks about credit unions and the strategies they follow when it comes to data.[06:17] – Trellance is helping show credit unions what to use the data they collect for.[06:48] – What are some ways credit unions can use this data?[08:12] – She believes that credit unions need to be prepared to change at a pace to keep up with everyone else.[08:49] – Do you see this as an opportunity for credit unions?[09:56] – Deepthi speaks about being a Scrum master and describes what that is.[12:15] – Randy asks about the restaurant she owned and what type it was.[13:13] – What will you be the proudest that your team has accomplished if we sit down and talk a year from now?[14:31] – Deepthi tells us what the inspiration for taking the VP of Portfolio Management with Trellance was.[16:14] – How has the inspiration changed over the years?[17:20] – Her leadership style is dependent on the situation she is in. She changes to what she is dealing with.[18:34] – I am not your boss –  is something her team hears her say all the time.[19:43] – How have you cultivated the ability to make tough decisions when you have to?[21:05] – Deepthi speaks about the common myths she has been told as a leader.[21:48] – Jumping to conclusions too quickly is what she sees leaders do today.[22:48] – Keep your emotions out of decisions is advice she was given that she keeps today.[23:30] – What is your stress buster? What do you do to relieve stress?[24:26] – She talks about having mentors in her career and how she tries to mentor now.[26:15] – What do you do to recharge when you have a day off?[26:47] – She discusses high school and what kind of student she was.[27:23] – She dreamed of being an FBI officer when she was young.[28:44] – Is there an APP that you must have to get by day to day?[29:27] – What is your favorite album of all time?[29:55] – What book have you gifted many times over the years?[30:28] – Work-life balance has become more important and small petty things have become less important.[31:21] – When she hears the word success her mom and dad are the first people that come to mind.[32:11] – What did your mom do when you were growing up?[32:36] – Deepthi gives her final thoughts. 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randall Smith Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust.As one of the co-founders of CUInsight.com he … Web: www.CUInsight.com Detailslast_img read more

Novartis to build US cell-based flu vaccine plant

first_imgJul 18, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Novartis, the Swiss-based drug manufacturer, today announced plans to build what it says will be the first US plant to make cell-culture-based influenza vaccines.The facility will be built in Holly Springs, N.C., at a total cost of about $600 million, the company said in a news release. It will be able to produce about 50 million doses of seasonal trivalent (three-strain) flu vaccine annually.”In the event of an influenza pandemic, the site is planned to have a capacity of up to 150 million monovalent doses annually within six months of a pandemic declaration,” the company said.The US government awarded Novartis a $220 million contract in May for development of cell-based flu vaccines in the United States. That money will go toward the cost of the new facility, officials said.Depending on validation testing and approval, the plant could begin production as early as 2011 and be ready for full production as early as 2012, a Novartis spokesperson told CIDRAP News by e-mail.Novartis also announced today it has submitted a cell-based flu vaccine for approval by the European Union’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use. The company said it filed in June after successfully completing phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccine. Officials said this marks the first such submission in the EU.Flu vaccines have been grown in chicken eggs since the 1950s, but a number of companies are developing techniques for growing them in laboratory cell cultures instead. Cell-culture production offers a number of potential advantages, including faster start-up, greater flexibility, less risk of contamination, and freedom from dependence on the availability of eggs.”We are taking the lead in moving cell culture vaccine manufacturing closer to a commercial reality now that the site for a U.S. manufacturing plant has been chosen and the first EU submission for a flu cell culture vaccine have been completed,” Novartis Chairman and CEO Dr. Daniel Vasella said in the news release.The company is currently conducting a phase 1 and 2 clinical trial of a cell-based flu vaccine in the United States. The company spokesperson said by e-mail, “Our phase I/phase II trial in the US is fully enrolled, and immunogenicity data are satisfactory. We are in ongoing dialog with the US Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the data received to date and achieve an optimal design for our phase III program.”The vaccines for the European and US trials were developed and produced in Marburg, Germany, the company said.In May the US Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $1 billion worth of contracts to five companies for developing cell-based flu vaccines, including the $220 million to Novartis. The money comes from $3.8 billion that Congress appropriated last December for flu-pandemic preparedness.The other contractors and their awards were GlaxoSmithKline, $274.75 million; MedImmune, $169.6 million; DynPort Vaccine, $40.97 million; and Solvay Pharmaceuticals, $298.59 million. The contracts are for 5 years.See also: May 4 CIDRAP News article “US awards $1 billion for cell-based flu vaccines”Jun 27, 2005, CIDRAP News article “Momentum builds for cell-culture flu vaccines”last_img read more

Shell launches major cost-cutting drive to prepare for energy transition

first_imgRoyal Dutch Shell is looking to slash up to 40 percent off the cost of producing oil and gas in a major drive to save cash so it can overhaul its business and focus more on renewable energy and power markets, sources told Reuters.Shell’s new cost-cutting review, known internally as Project Reshape and expected to be completed this year, will affect its three main divisions and any savings will come on top of a US$4 billion target set in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.Reducing costs is vital for Shell’s plans to move into the power sector and renewables where margins are relatively low. Competition is also likely to intensify with utilities and rival oil firms including BP and Total all battling for market share as economies around the world go green. The company’s integrated gas division, which runs Shell’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations as well as some gas production, is also looking at deep cuts, the sources said.For downstream, the review is focusing on cutting costs from Shell’s network of 45,000 service stations – the world’s biggest – which is seen as one its “most high-value activities” and is expected to play a pivotal role in the transition, two more sources involved with the review told Reuters.“We are undergoing a strategic review of the organization, which intends to ensure we are set up to thrive throughout the energy transition and be a simpler organization, which is also cost competitive. We are looking at a range of options and scenarios at this time, which are being carefully evaluated,” a spokeswoman for Shell said in a statement.Shell’s restructuring drive mirrors moves in recent months by European rivals BP and Eni which both plan to reduce their focus on oil and gas in the coming decade and build new low-carbon businesses.The review, which company sources say is the largest in Shell’s modern history, is expected to be completed by the end of 2020 when Shell wants to announce a major restructuring. It will hold an investor day in February 2021.Speaking to analysts on July 30, Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said Shell had launched a programme to “redesign” the Anglo-Dutch company.Low-carbon fuelsTeams in Shell’s three main divisions are also studying how to reshape the business by cutting thousands of jobs and removing management layers both to save money and create a nimbler company as it prepares to restructure, the sources said.Shell, which had 83,000 employees at the end of 2019, carried out a major cost-cutting drive after its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group 2016, which has helped boost its cash generation significantly in recent years.Shell’s operating costs, which include production, manufacturing, sales, distribution, administration and research and development expenses, fell by 15 percent, or roughly $7 billion, between 2014 and 2017.But the sharp global economic slowdown in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic coupled with Shell’s plans to slash its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 have led to the new push.Shell cut its 2020 capital expenditure plans by $5 billion to $20 billion in the wake of the collapse in oil and gas prices due to the pandemic amid warnings it could have lasting effects on global energy demand.Van Beurden said in July that Shell was on track to deliver $3 billion to $4 billion in cost savings by the end of March 2021, including through job cuts and suspending bonuses.He said travel restrictions during the pandemic had accelerated the digitalisation of Shell while machine learning was being rolled out to minimise outages and shorten maintenance time at refineries, oil and gas platforms and LNG plants.Besides cutting costs at its downstream retail business, Shell is pressing ahead with plans to reduce the number of its oil refineries to 10 from 17 last year. It has already agreed to sell three.The review of refining operations also includes finding ways to sharply increase the production of low-carbon fuels such biofuels, chemicals and lubricants. That could be done by using low-carbon raw materials such as cooking oil, one source said.Topics : “We had a great model but is it right for the future? There will be differences, this is not just about structure but culture and about the type of company we want to be,” said a senior Shell source, who declined to be named.Last year, Shell’s overall operating costs came to $38 billion and capital spending totaled $24 billion.Shell is exploring ways to reduce spending on oil and gas production, its largest division known as upstream, by 30 percent to 40 percent through cuts in operating costs and capital spending on new projects, two sources involved with the review told Reuters.Shell now wants to focus its oil and gas production on a few key hubs, including the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria and the North Sea, the sources said.last_img read more

‘Cashed up’ Melbourne buyers drawn to cute suburban cottage

first_img65 Cressey St, Wavell Heights.Good things come in small packages, as was proved by this cute home at 65 Cressey St, Wavell Heights.It only took one buyer at the May 20 auction to see it sold for $640,000. 65 Cressey St, Wavell Heights.The freshly painted home included features such as built-in wardrobes and ceiling fans, and offered decks with terrific local views, too. The block also housed a three-bay shed – perfect for a home handy person.Mr Bain said the buyers were a young couple from Melbourne who were set to enjoy the Brisbane lifestyle.“They’d been looking for three-months and had just sold their property in Melbourne, so they were cashed up and ready to go,” Mr Bain said.He said Wavell Heights was a market hotspot. “It’s a very exciting suburb … It’s just one of those suburbs that have proximity to the city and still close enough to the north and south arterials – it ticks all the boxes.” More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 201965 Cressey St, Wavell Heights.Jordan Bain, sales manager at Coronis Kelvin Grove, said the buyers of the two-bedroom cottage on 663sq could move straight in.“The work had been done to date but there was still the opportunity to add value. I think the land size is a huge bonus as well,” he said.last_img read more

​Irish association questions new trustee qualification thresholds

first_imgThe Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) has raised concerns about the impact of stricter trustee-qualification thresholds proposed by its regulator, after a consultation suggested trustees have at least two years of experience.The consultation, released by the Pensions Authority on 18 July ahead of detailed reform proposals to the government by the end of the year, seeks to bring Ireland’s oversight of trustee boards into line with the revised IORP Directive.It recommends that trustee boards possess a certain level of collective knowledge – including the potential for an entry threshold of two years’ experience for trustees lacking formal qualifications.Jerry Moriarty, chief executive of the IAPF, questioned how trustees would be able to gain the minimum two years of experience without completing formal qualifications, and noted that the cost and time commitment involved in completing the Irish Institute of Pension Managers’ courses could deter lay trustees. “Unless you do [the qualifications], or have two years’ experience, I don’t see how you can become a trustee,” Moriarty said. “And I don’t see how you can get two years’ experience without being a trustee with no experience at some stage.”However, Moriarty did welcome the Authority’s pledge it was not seeking to professionalise trusteeship, with the consultation saying lay trustees could bring “a significant amount to their role as a trustee”.Brendan Kennedy, who heads the Authority, told IPE the body had attempted to “strike a balance” when drafting its proposals.“We are aware of the fact lay trustees are a very important part of the system, and there would be a great deal of opposition to removing a place for lay trustees from our system,” he said. The IAPF has been among those resisting rigid requirements for trustees, warning a professionalisation of the field risked imposing “group think”. However, the proposals, as drafted, would not completely exclude lay trustees, as the new requirements would only apply to the trustee board as a collective.The Authority set out that a trustee board should consist of at least two members – one with at least two years’ experience, and a second member who had revised and “enhanced” qualifications.However, the emphasis on the requirements applying to a trustee board “on a collective basis” would likely allow for inexperienced lay trustees to join boards with two or more qualified trustees.Scheme ‘rationalisation’Kennedy admitted the new trustee-qualification requirements were, in part, to bring about “rationalisation” within the sector, which would not be required if a larger pool of trustees were available.“The trustee pool is finite, which may encourage consolidation – one of the reasons we want to see consolidation is because the trustee pool is finite,” he said, likening it to a “chicken and egg” situation.The Authority was also considering other measures to bring about scheme mergers in the defined contribution (DC) space, including how the industry reimburses the regulator’s running costs.Kennedy said it was always possible to see a shift to a fund-based fee, which would remove any disincentive to create large-scale DC master trusts.The Authority has said any such multi-employer trustees should expect to be subject to stricter requirements than individual company-sponsored funds, including minimum capital requirements, which would cover any costs associated with a scheme’s wind-up.last_img read more

City of Riviera Beach Employee Dies of Coronavirus; Most Depts to Go Remote

first_imgA local government employee has died from COVID-19.The Riviera Beach staff member has not been identified, but City Manager Jonathan Evans confirmed that six to eight other employees have self-quarantined as a result of their colleague’s death.“To the victim’s family and the individuals who work in the organization, it is a horrific day for the City of Riviera Beach. We are certainly doing everything we can to protect the safety and the welfare of our employees and the public,” Evans told our news partner, WPTV NewsChannel 5. “This is serious and it happened right here at home for us all. It is a painful reminder that we have to listen, and we are going to have to make some tough decision to be able to get through this for better days here in our community.”The city has established a hotline for employees who feel they are developing symptoms.Officials are still investigating whether or not the victim contracted the virus during travel or through direct contact with someone in the community.“The individual had previous health-related issues that certainly, probably exacerbated the issues associated with COVID-19,” added Evans. As a result of the employee death, Evans is asking all departments to go “full-remote” by April 6. The city’s Fire-Rescue, Police and Utilities departments would be exempt from the full-remote order.last_img read more

High School Girl Collects 300 Dresses For 8th Graders in Need

first_imgWith the increasing number of formal events for eighth graders and the growing price and extravagance of the dresses that girls wear, it can get overwhelming for a family to buy the perfect outfits to make their daughters feel special. That is why Kim Bass, a junior at Monmouth Regional High School, started the non-profit organization Bella of the Ball.Kim’s charity gives eighth grade girls in need the dresses of their dreams at no cost.Its mission is similar to other nonprofits that collect new and gently used prom dresses for high school students who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend the prom.Bella of the Ball’s inaugural event took place on Saturday, May 23, from which approximately 100 eighth grade girls each left with a beautiful dress to wear to a graduation, a dance or another formal event. The event, as Kim’s mother Cindy Bass described it, was a “huge success.”“It was really nice to see the girls rummaging through all the gorgeous dresses,” she said. “We even had dressing rooms set up and chairs for parents to wait in while their daughters tried on dresses.”To make this event possible, Kim put up fliers in churches 
and in downtown Red Bank, emailed 12 school districts
 throughout Monmouth County, and got permission from her 
guidance counselor to leave school to talk to middle schools about her charity. Through this constant effort to publicize the need for dresses for the event, word spread quickly.She soon collected over 300 dresses that came from the immense generosity her community showed. “Everybody donated,” Cindy said. “Teachers from Kim’s school who had daughters, girls from her school, girls from other schools and people we didn’t know all donated. We would come home and more dresses would be in a box outside our doorstep.”To make this event happen, Kim had to not only collect the dresses, but also advertise and secure a location to hold the event.Kim wanted to hold the event at a venue as elegant as the dresses, so she “canned” – collected monetary donations in a can – outside A.C. Moore craft store in Shrewsbury to raise money to pay for a banquet room at Branches, a restaurant in West Long Branch. She raised $250 to rent the room as she “wanted the girls to feel special” when buying their special dresses.Kim plans to hold another “Bella of the Ball” event next year during her senior year of high school, and perhaps expand to also making accessories and shoes available to the eighth grade girls. She is currently involving three underclassmen in the planning of the next event so that it can be even bigger. “Hopefully when I leave high school, they’ll continue the event and make it into a lasting tradition,” Kim said.– By Heather Nelsonlast_img read more