The second annual Gala Griffin Memorial Breast Cancer Cut-a-thon is about a month away, but organizer Lisa McClellan is getting ready for a fundraiser for Financial Assistance for Cancer Treatment. All local hair salons and stylists are invited to participate in the event, planned for Oct. 6, starting at 8 a.m. at Salon Source 2000, 458 W. Market St. McClellan would like to have all the stylists lined up by this Saturday.
The benefit is named for McClellan's sister, who died of her disease in March 2011. Last year's event took place Oct. 19 in conjunction with October as breast cancer awareness month. McClellan and seven other Tiffin stylists offered haircuts in exchange for donations. They raised $2,164 for FACT, some of which came in a few weeks after the cut-a-thon. Griffin received assistance from FACT while she was undergoing treatment.
"I know they gave her some money for gas for her to get to her treatments. She went Monday through Friday to Columbus and back," McClellan said. "They've also helped a lot of other people.
"Since I've started in this, I have found out just how much they do for people in this situation," she said. "It's pretty fantastic, and I like the idea that it's kept local."
A few weeks ago, she met with the FACT board to let its members know about her efforts for the second year. Some of the FACT volunteers plan to be on hand to help at the cut-a-thon. Tress Hodkinson and her WEEDS ministry group also plans to help. Mike McClellan, Lisa's husband, is to set up a grill outside the shop and prepare sandwiches to raise additional dollars.
"My sister Gala left behind two daughters and they will be receptionists, answering the phone and taking care of any money that comes in that day. Erin (Kisabeth), Gala's oldest daughter, will run the desk. She did that for me when she was in high school," McClellan said. "People have come out of the woodwork to help, so I'm touched."
Griffin's younger daughter, Abrie, and McClellan's sister Rachelle Griffin, also are to take care of business while McClellan is cutting hair. One of their duties is to sell hoodies and long- and short-sleeved T-shirts to commemorate the event. One of the FACT volunteers, Janice Tschanen, suggested a T-shirt drive-through at the shop's circular driveway, if the weather cooperates.
The 2012 benefit is to take place on a Saturday instead of a Wednesday in hopes of attracting more stylists and more donors who may be working or taking classes during the week. McClellan hopes those back-to-school haircuts may need sprucing up by Oct. 6. Her goal is to double the amount she raised last year. People coming in will be taken in the order they arrive. No appointments will be taken.
"Last year was great. It was such a cool atmosphere in the salon that day," McClellan said. "The girls that were here last year were from all different places. I think they realized this is not a competition between businesses. It's part of a cause that is good for all of us to do."
Those who did participate last year have expressed interest in returning. McClellan said she has five chairs, and stylists can work any number of hours they want during the day.
"I will just schedule the chairs until no one wants to be scheduled any more ... whatever it takes, she said.
Anyone interested in donating prizes or scheduling a time to cut hair can call McClellan at (419) 447-2030 or stop at the salon by Saturday.