POUGHKEEPSIE - It had only been an hour, and already ticket 64 was being handed out. At least two more hours remained on the clock for "A Day of Glamour," and as a roomful of attendees awaited their haircuts, still more continued to flow into the Family Partnership site.
"This is an amazing, beautiful thing." exclaimed hairdresser Audra Viola. "You’re giving someone a chance to feel good about themselves, and it feels so good to do that."
Viola was one of three hairdressers who volunteered her time and beautician skills Monday at the "Day of Glamour" event, held four times a year (last Monday of the third month). Created as an outgrowth of the Point in Time initiative, it is sponsored by the Family Partnership Center and overseen by Family Services Inc, Providing free shaves, haircuts and hair styling and other services to those in need, it featured workers from two local hair salons, The Millennium Hair Design in Poughkeepsie and Eclectic Studio in Arlington. One of those volunteers, Pino Pace, has been lending his time and talents for over a year to the event.
"Sometimes in life, you have to give to receive," said Pace, as he diligently put the final shave touches on a haircut. "So, you do a good deed, and it makes another and yourself feel really good."
The services provided by Pace as well as the two other hairdressers, Viola and Silvana Pace, were openly welcomed by the over 100 visitors who enjoyed the much appreciated grooming services. In fact, throughout the afternoon, the room was filled with clients, patiently awaiting their turn. Not one complaint could be heard. TT Zampko was among the recipients. Taking the suggestion of Silvana Pace to add long layers to her hair, she was beaming at the results.
"I saw the notice about these haircuts, and I really needed one, so I made it a point to come," said Zampko. "It’s awfully nice to have this available, a beautiful thing; I’m definitely going to come back again."
Another recipient could be heard asking Pino Pace where his shop was located. Pleased with his haircut, the man said, "Thanks a lot man; I really appreciate it." The two then shook hands and hugged.
In addition to the hair services offered to adults, there was another room where children could get haircuts. Additionally, the day included several other organizations, such as; healthcare workers, counselors, staff from the Veterans Administration, Grace Smith House, Planned Parenthood and Pathstone. Providing help with health screenings, housing advocacy, food, clothing assistance, staff from these agencies also gave out information on substance abuse, domestic violence, referrals and more.
"I think this is amazing, and it’s because of these hairdressers; without them, we would never be able to do what we do," pointed out Sue Tallardy, Program Director for Mid-Hudson Addiction Recovery Centers, Inc., who helped stage the Glamour Day. "It really warms your heart to see what they do for others and the changes they make."
For Viola, it’s a gesture that works both ways. Filled with joy seeing what her efforts mean to her Glamour Day clients, she is thankful to have the opportunity to help provide them with some happiness.
"Take a little time to give back," said Viola as she prepared for her next haircut. "There are a lot of mean people out there, who think money makes the world go around, and it doesn’t; this is what it’s all about."