Last month, Henderson Bay High School hosted its second annual Salon Day with help from HBHS staff, Communities in Schools of Peninsula, Harbor Christian Center and volunteers from several local salons who help to make this event possible.
“The school’s weight room was unrecognizable after being transformed into a high-end salon that provided 40 haircuts to students just before the holidays, explained Robin Malich, the school’s Communities In Schools of Peninsula site coordinator.
Stylists Ron Martinez, Terra Nootenboom and Nancy Racioppo of Salon Silver, Priya Harmon of Brassfields, and Sara Christ of Salon Riviera volunteered their time and talent to make the students feel special and pampered.
“That the school is willing to host this event and for all the stylists who free up an entire day to volunteer is so thoughtful,” said student Maggie Smith.
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Schoolmate Sarah Shaffer agreed, saying, “I think it’s highly appreciated by all the students,” adding, “I was having a bad day and it ended up being a good day thanks to Priya.”
Salon Day originated in 2015 as part of HCC’s annual “Road Trip” held during Thanksgiving week. HCC also provided 50 gift bags with essential toiletries to all participating students.
“Last year we didn’t know what to expect or the impact it would have on our students,” Malich said. “It ended up being an amazing experience for the students, staff and volunteers as well as a highlight for last year. This year we wanted to make it an even better experience for all involved. I think we succeeded!”
To student Amelya Hansen, “(Stylist) Ron (Martinez) was really nice. He and the other stylists made us feel comfortable and not awkward. It was so inspiring. My mother loved my haircut.”
School chum Nora Foss added, “It was so much fun and I loved my hair. The setup was really cool and the stylists were so open-minded. I suffer from anxiety but the experience was really relaxing.”
Christ, a stylist who has volunteered for Salon Day for two years, said, “Oh my gosh ... those kids! It’s a magical place when you walk through those doors into Henderson Bay and the kids are simply amazing. The amount of happiness and gratitude they have and how such a simple act can change their world. They touch my heart.”
HBHS Principal Brian Tovey is “so thankful for the great gift these stylists gave to my students. They put their hearts into these haircuts for our kids. Our students had big smiles on their faces throughout the day. All of these stylists donated their time just to put a smile on the face of a student. It’s a great gift.
“HCC is a great partner for us at HBHS,” said Tovey. “They support us throughout the year in a number of ways. Before winter break they put on a holiday banquet for our students prior to our talent show. We are truly blessed to have HCC support us.”
“Henderson Bay High School is thankful for the support and generosity of so many who helped to make this year’s Salon Day such a success,” said Malich.
And a success it was, indeed!
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.