Cactus Salon provided 57 women with a free night of beauty as part of their 3rdannual makeover night of beauty with the Family Service League on Monday, August 16th.
Over 50 stylists from the 24 salons in Nassau and Suffolk County volunteered to style, cut and color hair, do manicures and pedicures and serve dinner to the women – and their families – who were nominated by the program, Cactus Marketing Director Karen Vito said.
Lori Anne Brennan, Division Director for FSL, said Cactus approached the center with this idea.
"They participate in our Christmas gift wrap programs and several years ago wanted to participate in another fundraiser. This idea has been quite successful," Brennan said.
Women in all of the league's 47 programs are nominated by program directors and then they are chosen by a lottery. Each year's final number is different, but Brennan said 60 women were invited this year.
Women are invited to bring their children and Cactus provides coloring books and volunteer babysitters.
Brennan said 70 percent of the women who attend a salon makeover night ultimately have a better chance of finding a job because of their self-esteem boost.
"It is amazing what a makeover can do for these women who are struggling," Brennan said.
Stacy Bente, a returning participant, said: "It really makes a difference. It makes you feel pampered. Last year it was more crowded; this year I didn't have to wait. It doesn't really matter. All the services always make me feel so different. It's very uplifting."
Cactus Salons also collect purses, jewelry and accessories and clients are given four raffle tickets, three of which can be used to purchase one of these items.
Joe Secreti, the owner of all the Cactus Salons on Long Island, said the staff presented the idea to him and he thinks it is a great way to give back to the community.
A native of Dix Hills, Secreti said he uses the Dix Hills store--which was Cactus's first location--for the event because it is one of the largest in his chain of Cactus stores, and he wants to be able to have as many women participate as possible.
He estimates the night of beauty cost approximately $10,000 and he said Cactus also provides donations throughout the year to other organizations, many of which work directly with Long Island residents.
Vito said Spuntino's in Dix Hills donated pizza, pasta and other Italian delights, Woodbury Country Deli donated salads and Town Bagels in Plainview donated bagels and cream cheese.
Clients are given a gift bag filled with Cactus products – including Paul Mitchell, Goldwell and Loreal – at the end of the night. The raffle is also used to give one client a series of services at the salon.