When it comes to fundraising, nobody does it better or with more gusto than City of Hope's Harry Giordano, senior director of development, Northeast region. For the past 12 years, he's asked salons in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia to become involved in HopeCuts, a program in which stylists donate their talents for one day each November to raise money for City of Hope, "cutting out" cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Salons that raise a minimum of $200 are eligible to attend and compete in the largest fantasy hair contest of its kind anywhere, affectionately called the Hairball.
This year I was in the audience at the Hyatt Regency in Philadelphia as Wildcats: Back to the Jungle got underway. Salon teams must design their costumes to reflect the feline-inspired theme, which is different each year and has included Peking Pussycats, Space Kitties, Scaredy Cats and Carnival Kitties. Philly's own Phoenix Salon & Spa sent a bevy of jungle animals, including a giraffe, down the runway and won Best of Show for their efforts.
1. Phoenix Salon & Spa won Best in Show; 2. Laura Angiolillo of L.A. Hair Salon in Philadelphia (right) poses with her model; 3. Harry Giordano and Cherry Petenbrink of the Joico National Artistic Team; 4. City of Hope's Alan Levey, Giordano, American Salon's Editor in Chief Marianne Dougherty, Schoeneman Beauty Supply's Jeff Abrams and Tina Bodnar of Salon Concepts.
Meanwhile, Laura Angiolillo of L.A. Hair Salon in Philadelphia won the second annual Master Stylist competition. Contestants had less than three hours to perform makeovers on models they met just seconds before, using haircolor from Joico and styling products from Matrix. American Salon will be featuring Angiolillo's work in our September issue. This year salons raised more than $200,000 for City of Hope, but Giordano admits that he got a lot of help from sponsors like Hair Cuttery, Schoeneman Beauty Supply, Salon Concepts and Beauty Forward, who contributed products for incentives, raffle baskets and goody bags. As for me, I'm just impressed by the creativity I saw onstage. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out how they got that giraffe down the runway.