ORLANDO – It was officially called the 2011 Cut-A-Thon, but unlike the average marathon, this event had nothing to do with speed.
Nube Nove, the hair salon at 717 E. Washington St. in Thornton Park, has been hosting this special event for the past four years, but the hair stylists who take part in it are not in a race to see who can clip their clients’ hair at the fastest pace. The customers who came in on Tuesday night for the 2011 Cut-a-Thon got the same relaxed, friendly treatment they usually get from their hair stylist, who were in no rush to get them out the door. It was not, said Austin Scott, the salon’s director of reservations, that kind of cut-a-thon.
Instead, it was a charitable event being host by the salon, with all of the proceeds from Tuesday night’s benefit being donated entirely to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“One of our stylists, Jennifer Ramos, has a son who is 11, and he has juvenile diabetes,” Scott said. “And each year we do an event for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.”
As part of that, the customers who dropped by the Thornton Park salon got to take advantage of discounted hair cuts and style services, along with complimentary beverages, door prizes and raffle items – all for a good cause.
“We’re giving out $20 haircuts,” Scott said. “Normally for a lady’s cut, it would be $40. They’re getting it for $20. The men’s normally are $32, and tonight they are $20 as well, and all of that goes to the JDRF.”
In addition, the mood inside the salon was decidedly festive — and celebratory.
“We have drinks and beverages,” Scott said. “For the raffles, we have people that work at Busche Gardens that donated tickets. None of the stylists gets paid tonight. Everyone here that is on staff is donating their time.”
Nube Nove started doing this charitable benefit from the very beginning. The salon just celebrated its four-year anniversary, and as word has gotten out about the discounts and the cause it goes to help, Scott said the Cut-a-Thon has been a strong draw, bringing in more people each year.
“Last year, it was really, really busy, busier than the year before,” he said. “Last year, we closed off the parking lot to have a lounge out there.”
The salon opted not to do that this year, in part because they dealt with some weather challenges in November 2010.
“Last year, it rained on the party,” Scott said. And with meteorologists predicting a cold front coming in this week, and temperatures falling into the 50s by sundown, Scott said they decided an outdoor event wouldn’t work.
As it turns out, it didn’t much matter. By 5:30 p.m., a half hour after the salon opened, the staff was already busy, with customers ready to get serviced.
Scott said the salon does well for one very basic reason: strong customer service from the staff.
“It’s just a fun atmosphere,” he said. “We like to treat our customers right.”
Unlike some other hair salons, Scott said, this one gladly welcomes in children.
“We’re also very child friendly,” he said. “We have a lot of people who bring their kids in here. Our philosophy is if we’re going to cut your parents’ hair, we’ll cut your kids’ hair, too. We’re patient. Our stylists are kid-friendly.”
As part of the benefit, local artist Parker Sketch donated some paintings to be sold at the salon on Tuesday night, and guests were encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots campaign.
“It is going to be a busy night,” Scott said. “We try to donate money and services and whatever we can do for the community.”
For more information, call the salon at 407-246-5488.
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