Special Events Stories & Photos

June 27, 2009
PHA Cut-a-Thon

PH Parents Team Up With Local Salon for Fundraising Success
by April Gruszkowski, PHA Web Publications Intern

Ava, Geoff and Mitzi LaBarge outside the Running with Scissors salon in Bridgton, Maine

Ava, Geoff and Mitzi LaBarge outside the Running with Scissors salon in Bridgton, Maine

What’s the secret to a successful first fundraiser? Mitzi LaBarge, mom to 3-year-old PH patient Ava, advises choosing a catchy idea — like the cut-a-thon she held in June.

As the LaBarge family of Bridgton, Maine, became increasingly involved in the PH community, Mitzi wanted to organize a fundraiser to give back. Together with her friend, salon owner Sarah Lowell, Mitzi and her family held a cut-a-thon. For five hours, Sarah and stylist Liza Chase gave cuts for donations at Sarah’s salon, Running with Scissors.

A clever idea is just the beginning, though. Mitzi’s second tip for success is getting the word out. About 100 people stopped in throughout the day, prompted in part by an article Mitzi wrote and submitted to her town’s local paper, the Bridgton News. Many of the attendees came to the event after reading the article, donating nearly $1,400 in spite of the uncertain economic climate.

“The basic fact is [that] times are tough,” Mitzi said. “People hardly have money for basics, and yet no one had a free haircut that day. Everyone made a donation.”

About a third of the attendees stopped by just to donate without even getting their hair cut. The event was so popular that others waited in line for more than two hours to get a cut. In addition to getting a trim, participants could enjoy a food stand and 15-minute massages in return for donations.

Organizing with simplicity, which is Mitzi’s third tip for fundraising novices, helped everything come together easily. She had been anxious about the event, but as the date drew near, she found herself feeling ready.

“It was a piece of cake and I would do this every weekend if I could,” Mitzi said.

Running with Scissors salon owner Sarah Lowell in action

Running with Scissors salon owner Sarah Lowell in action

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