Melissa Tenzer (center), executive director of Dress for Success Mercer County, poses with women from DFSMC’s Professional Women’s Group. DFSMC will formally announce its name change to Dress for Success Central New Jersey – 7 Counties at the organization’s annual Cocktails for a Cause fundraiser.

After 10 years of empowering women and girls in Mercer County, Dress for Success Mercer County is expanding to provide services in Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and parts of Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

The organization will change its name to Dress for Success Central New Jersey — 7 Counties and will celebrate the announcement at its Cocktails for a Cause event on Oct. 26.

“We are thrilled to begin this next chapter,” Melissa Tenzer, executive director of Dress for Success Central New Jersey, said. “Helping women gain confidence to reach for dreams and achieve economic independence is the core of our mission. Having the ability to serve even more women and girls fills me with such joy and hope for their future. At Dress for Success, we believe leadership is born when women are given the tools to succeed.”

With nearly two years under her belt as executive director, Tenzer has tripled the number of DFSMC’s programs and services offered. With eight successful programs and services in place, DFSMC has filled an educational gap and solidified the organization as a leader in full range career services. Surrounding area agencies have taken notice.

With a solid footprint in Mercer County, Tenzer and her board of directors decided it was time to make an even greater impact.

“We have been receiving phone calls from agencies in neighboring counties,” Tenzer said. “The demand is so great, we felt it was imperative to heed the call and expand our services beyond greater Mercer County.”

Founded with $50,000 seed money provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2007, over the past decade, the nonprofit organization has impacted the lives of more than 5,000 women and girls.

DFS was established to serve as a conduit to education, resources and support in helping disadvantaged women improve their chances of obtaining and retaining employment. DFSMC saw 1,020 women last year, and with this expansion, Dress for Success Central New Jersey will have the ability to provide even more women and girls with the tools and knowledge to secure meaningful employment.

The name change and celebration of the company’s 10-year anniversary will be commemorated at the organization’s annual Cocktails for a Cause event on Oct. 26 at Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville. This fundraising event is held each year to raise awareness and funds for the programs and services provided by the organization.

At this year’s Cocktails for a Cause, Dress for Success Central New Jersey will be honoring Trenton Mayor Eric E. Jackson, Wells Fargo, and Princeton Area Community Foundation. Additionally, presentations will be made by Dress for Success Central New Jersey Success ambassadors.

“The community needs to hear about the difficulties and ultimate triumph of our clients,” Tenzer said.

Individual tickets for Dress for Success Central New Jersey’s Cocktails for a Cause is $125 per person. For more information visit mercercounty.dressforsuccess.org or call (609) 896-4112.