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Hairdressers are known for helping. But, so are our daughters and friends. Allison Newman, along with help from members of Cosmetologists Chicago and stylists from Mario Tricoci Salons & Spas, turned a simple spa night into an experience to remember for clients, family and staff of the Libenu Foundation of Skokie, IL.

We want to share this amazing story, Pop-up salon snips for charity,” published in the Skokie Review, by Natasha Wasinski, to inspire and to remind you that even the smallest acts of kindness resonate throughout an entire community.

Pop-up salon snips for charity


Photo by Ryan Pagelow for Sun-Times Media

Seventh grader Allison Newman (right), 12, of Skokie, standing next to her sister Maddy, 18, hosted a spa day at a neighbor’s home for women with special needs and their mothers as part of a volunteer project for her bat mitzvah. She chose this type of event to honor her mother, who was in the beauty industry before passing away from cancer nearly three years ago.

Skokie client Aliza Neren beamed as a hair stylist trimmed her side-swept bangs.

“I love it,” the 26-year-old with long brunette locks said. “Can I have my red lipstick like Marilyn Monroe now?”

Stella Levin, of Lincolnwood, looked on admiringly as she patiently waited for a manicure.

“She looks like a movie star,” she gushed.

Hair stylists and nail technicians from Mario Tricoci had transformed a Skokie home’s living room into a mini salon April 30, when they treated Libenu Foundation clients and caretakers to complementary hair and makeup services.

“It’s a terrific pick-me-up,” said Skokie client Shana Erenberg, who cofounded the nonprofit three years ago with Chicago Alderman Debra Silverstein.

Libenu, from the Hebrew word meaning “our hearts,” aims to better serve disabled and special-needs Jewish adults by maximizing their independence through inclusive community settings.

Twelve-year-old Allison Newman, a volunteer for the nonprofit, organized the afternoon “spa” as a community service project in advance of her May 11 bat mitzvah.

It was also a way to honor her late mother, Lisa, who worked in the beauty industry before succumbing to cancer in September 2010.

Newman initially planned a low-key “girl’s night” with women from the group home. She emailed her mother’s former colleague, Paul Dykstra, to see if he could help.

“Lisa was like a sister to me,” the executive director of Cosmetologists Chicago said.

Dykstra not only arranged to get professional stylists on board, but also collected a slew of donated hair, beauty and personal care products for the pampered women to take home.

The end result was a social outing for Libenu families and supporters. But Newman said she wanted the clients of the group home to leave with just a bit more than freshly-painted fingernails.

“I want them to them to walk out of here feeling grateful, happy, and loved,” she said. “I’m here. They’ll never be alone.”

We as salon professionals know we do more than just hair. We are an integral part of our community who can make a real difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors – regardless of whether they come to our salons.

What are some ways you’ve helped your community that you’d like to share to inspire our salon community?



1961 – 2010

Lisa C. Newman, former Marketing Director for CC and America’s Beauty Show, passed away on September 18, 2010, after a heroic battle against cancer. Lisa worked diligently for the association for 26 years and even met her beloved husband Steve at an America’s Beauty Show. She also leaves her two cherished daughters, Madeline and Allison, who grew up attending the show each year.  All the exhibitor personnel and salon professionals with whom she worked so closely will miss Lisa.

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