Le Reve Salon sponsored a fundraiser for Kids & Art and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) Sunday, September 21st. The event was a great success, with patrons and Kids & Art fans crowding the sidewalk on California Avenue in Burlingame to get in. Up to 200 families attended the event at the salon with 20 stylists clipping away at locks of hair that fell in piles on the floor, to be swept away, while new clippings formed in blonde, brown, black and auburn, curly, straight and waves. With a long waitlist for cuts and trims at $20 a head, and 100% proceeds going towards Kids & Art and LLS, it was a good deal! A good deal for a great cause.
“What struck me was how incredibly strong this woman (Purvi) was, as well as the entire Shah family. They were going through so many hardships with their own son battling such a horrible disease, but still managed to reach out to others, and aid them in the healing process. It was her story and her mission that inspired me to want to help. I didn't have a lot of time or money to give, like most, so I thought it would be great to get others involved,” Maria Montilla, Le Reve Salon stylist, said of her efforts to start the fundraiser.
“About five years ago, I approached Purvi with an idea to throw an event at my salon and raise money with haircuts, raffle tickets, food and of course auctioning off Kids & Art artwork. We were both very excited to work together and get started. Unfortunately, our plans were put on hold; but things happen for a reason, so they will work out at the right place and right time. Years passed and I had been continuously touched by so many other stories similar to Purvi's. Earlier this year, I felt compelled to get things started again, so I brought up the idea to the Le Reve team. The owners of our salon not only jumped at the chance to do the event, but worked extremely hard with such busy schedules to organize and fund Cuts for Kids.
Like so many others present, stylists Montilla and Gazlay, as well as owner Dachaeuer, voiced others at Cuts for Kids felt: “The event was more than I could have ever hoped for! I am so blessed to be working with such a selfless and giving team of individuals! I was shocked at the amount of companies that were so willing to donate awesome prizes. Our family and friends volunteered their time to selling baked goods, painting faces, and helping in any way they could. So many in our community reached out and donated to Kids & Art and LLS. It was such an amazing experience! I really felt the love and compassion of the community.” Executive Director of Kids & Art, Purvi Shah, went on to say, “We also raised $1185 while we were at Cuts for Kids from donations, art and merchandise sales, and tips from wine tasting.” Shah and Gazlay mentioned the following fabulous businesses that gave to the event:
Five Little Monkeys, Sapora, Spa Elysee, Jim Tillotson, Qi Harmony, Multi-craft CAbi, Katherine McDermott with Neurolink, Sixtos, Rachel's Cakes, Powell's Sweet Shoppe, Nothing Bunt Cakes, Stovall Organizing, J.Hilburn, Mara Jennings, Celine's Kitchen, Dove Chocolate, Pauline Cheung, B.More Boutique GiGi Boutique, Sweet Melissa Photography, Yana, Lacelet Jewelry, Sole Bambini, Alana's Café, Stella Alpina Osteria, Kara's Cupcakes, Create Mix and Mingle, Heartfelt Wines, Ruby Ribbon, ThirtyOne, MaryKay, Junior Gym, Daily Method Nina O’Brien Personal Training, Celadon Road Burlingame, Caren Massage, Good Seeds Apparel, Bumble and Bumble
Purvi Shah founded Kids & Art while her son Amaey battled Leukemia. She discovered he had the greatest sense of peace and joy when he was creating art, whether at home or in the hospital. Purvi wanted to bring this sense of peace to other children touched by cancer, and created a foundation which teamed up local artists with kids undergoing treatment, in remission, their siblings and caregivers - as well as family members suffering bereavement - to create beautiful pieces of art they could then auction off to raise money for cures for cancer.
The sense of empowerment the children had from actually being able to make a difference with something that brought them joy and others beauty, was a mission that drew many other supporters to Kids & Art. Amaey’s San Mateo friends who spent years with him at Baywood Elementary School, also participated in creating works of art at workshops and the Salon event.
Gabriel Moussa, Amaey’s best friend, wore an orange shirt (Amaey’s favorite color) that simply said, “LOVE”. Gabriel is a 7th grader at Nueva School in Hillsborough and he has not only worked through his grief by attending Kids & Art workshops, he has continued to spend time at all the events. Not your typical 7th grader.
Claire Schick, Amaey’s friend since she was a toddler, said she would be willing to cut off all of her hair for Amaey. Although her mother was not in agreement with this arrangement, Claire wound up liberating her hair from a tight bun and walking away with waves her Le Reve stylist spent extra time arranging. Paris Auerweck and Anna Larsen, who were in Amaey’s kindergarten class, also stood in the salon waiting. They never had a chance to get their hair cut or trimmed; but both declared of the festivities inside and outside the salon, “This has been a lot of fun!”
The best thing about Cuts for Kids besides being a good time, was as Montilla said: “With everyone's help we were able to raise a very generous amount for our cause – over $3500 in $20 haircuts in one afternoon! (That’s 175 haircuts!!!) What an incredible feeling! I hope this event inspires others to have hope and realize that any small idea or action, can make a huge impact in this world and in helping others! Thank you again to Purvi Shah, the Shah family, and Kids & Art for giving us the opportunity to do this and support us in raising money for their cause and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!”