Haircuts help disaster victims

By Allison Loverher

A day-long cut-a-thon called United We Style for America will start at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at Best Western DeKalb Inn and Suites, 1212 W. Lincoln Highway.

Patty Pumfrey, an independent contractor for Diane’s Fifth Street Studio, decided in October to organize the event in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. Haircuts will cost $10, or $20 if a specific stylist is requested, and all proceeds will go to the Sept. 11 disaster relief fund and the American Red Cross.

Pumfrey wrote area salons and ended up attracting fifty different stylists from DeKalb and Sycamore hair salons to participate.

Identity Salon and Spa’s Heather Ramone, a cut-a-thon participant, said that because DeKalb is isolated, it’s more difficult for people to help victims of the attacks directly. But this is one way the community can help.

Helen Umbdenstock, owner of a participating hair salon, helped organize the event.

“It’s good for students because you get your haircut for the holiday and help out the victims at the same time,” she said.

Umbdenstock said she hopes the event will draw between 500 and 1,000 participants and raise at least $20,000.

The cut-a-thon will include different stations, including chair massages, nails and temporary tattoos. The stations charge no set price, but donations will be accepted.

Entertainment will be provided by Oscar Forsman from the Foot Stompers, who will play the accordion, Barbara Steg who will play the viola and the band Mer.

After getting a haircut, participants automatically will be entered into a raffle for a prize package from one of the salons. Those not getting haircuts can purchase tickets for other raffles for $1 each or $6 for five tickets. Raffle prizes include food, a cell phone, music, photography and tanning.

“I hope everyone comes out,” Pumfrey adds. “We’re all having fun doing this. It’s going to be a fun, upbeat day.”