Bank employees in Carroll County got a dressing down last Friday. But it was for a good cause.
About 800 employees in 14 local banks paid $5 each to cast aside their ties, power suits and pumps for one day of casual attire, as part of a fund-raising project for Christmas in April.
Volunteers with the private, nonprofit organization spend one day each spring repairing and renovating the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled.
Kathleen C. Garey, assistant treasurer at Westminster Bank and Trust Co., chaired a committee of representatives from four local banks who came up with the idea of dressing down.
"In banking you're talking about very conservative people who have to wear suits and pantyhose every day. Dressing down is a big treat," Ms. Garey said.
"It's something everyone can participate in, so it goes over real well," she said.
Flora Abel, the head teller at Carroll County Bank and Trust on Main Street in Westminster, showed up for work in a sweat shirt and casual pants.
She said she enjoyed the chance to get comfortable at the office, but wouldn't like to make it a habit.
"The only time I get to dress up is when I come to work," Ms. Abel said.
Ms. Garey estimated that the dress-casual event will raise between $4,000 and $4,500 for the local Christmas in April chapter.
The money will be used to finance the local Christmas in April work day, scheduled for April 29.
On that day, about 500 volunteers will descend on 27 area homes selected as Christmas in April projects. Work will include painting, roofing, rebuilding and cleaning.
The organization estimates it will need $25,000 to complete work on all the homes.
Anyone interested in learning more about Christmas in April, may call 410-795-4746, or write to P.O. Box 742, Eldersburg, 21784.