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Niles salon raising money for breast cancer research

Published 9:25am Monday, September 28, 2009

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

For anyone who has ever been, or had a loved one diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s imaginable that the experience is not one that is likely to fade away.

Rather it can be a soft and delicate issue to discuss and something so common as a passing thought.

As common as the color pink.

Pink will no doubt dominate the month of October as the nation recognizes National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

And at Shear Talent, 1701 Broadway in Niles owner Carre Aalfs and her team of stylists, Theresa Kater, Vicky Nielsen and Lindsey Scameheorn are doing their part to put Niles in the pink.

Though the month officially begins in October, the salon has already provided some of their clients with pink hair streaks and will continue to offer them for $10 throughout the month.

Aalfs said she focused on raising money and donating proceeds in support of breast cancer awareness last year. This year “all the proceeds” from pink streaks and specialty sales, Aalfs said, will go to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

Vera Bradley, based out of Fort Wayne Ind., is known for its various collections including handbags and luggage. The company has donated three items, a tote bag, ditty bag and flat iron cover for raffle. Tickets are just $1 and Aalfs said customers can purchase as many as they’d like.

The drawing will take place on Nov. 1 and customers don’t have to be present to win.
“Last year we made about $300 dollars just on the pink streaks,” Aalfs said.

In addition to the pink streaks and the raffle, special China Glaze nail polishes are also available at Shear Talent, $15 for a pack of three – those proceeds will also go to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

“We’re hoping to at least double what we did last year,” Aalfs said.
The effort to fight breast cancer is a personal one for Aalfs.

“I had a real close friend of mine that had breast cancer,” she said. Watching her friend fight the disease, go through a double mastectomy only to have the cancer return in the brain – seems to have left an impression on Aalfs.

“She ended up beating it,” she said. “She’s cancer free right now… Ever since, it hit so close to home.  That’s when I started getting really involved in it.”

The money raised last year she said, “was donated in honor of her.”

The salon, she added, sees its share of cancer patients and survivors come in as clients and as a business there is an understanding of how important that business is to the world of cancer.

Many salons like Shear Talent will donate significant amounts of hair to various charities to make wigs for adults and children diagnosed with cancer.

Anyone who isn’t interested in taking part in the raffle, getting a pink streak or purchasing some nail polish but still wants to join in the fight, can stop by Shear Talent and pick up a Vera Bradley Foundation donation card.

“People are usually really eager to do something,” Aalfs said.

Shear Talent is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call 683-5330.

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