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White Plains Salon Raises $700 for Cancer

Melissa Gamero, a stylist at the La Bottega salon in White Plains, fights pediatric cancer one royal blue hair extension at a time.

When customers participate in the Blue Streak for Hope campaign, Gamero selects a strand of hair, loops an extension around the lock, and admires the streak that helped her salon raise $10 for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation .

Gamero said La Bottega raised about $700 this May while participating in the Blue Streak for Hope project, which gives salon customers a blue hair extension when they donate $10 to the fight against childhood cancer.

“It’s a good cause, and it’s nice because you see kids involved in helping other kids,” said Melissa Gamero. “One day we do want to find a cure for cancer. It’s a big killer.”

Gamero said the streaks are particularly popular with five to 14 year-olds, who have begun asking if La Bottega will do a similar fundraiser with pink extensions.

“If someone comes in for breast cancer we will,” said Gamero.

Harrison native and chairperson of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation Stefanie Mittman spearheaded the Blue Streak of Hope project to help the organization raise money to eradicate childhood cancer.

With Mittman’s help, nine local salons in towns including White Plains, Scarsdale, Larchmont, and Greenwich, CT will provide visitors with a blue ribbon hair extension for a $10 donation.

Mittman, who started with the organization 13 years ago as a volunteer, watched the Blue Streak of Hope grow since its inception in 2008 from one participating salon to the current nine.

According to Mittman, the organization has already collected close to $3,000 and expects donations to reach new highs thanks to the additional participating salons.

“It’s been very rewarding to see,” she said. “We’ve reached out to these salons and they agreed to buy the ribbons themselves and promote the project.”

Mittman said the salons participate for reasons beyond the financial aspect, but the project has still helped them in getting more people in the door. One salon in White Plains, La Bottega, is also donating all tips they received.

“They do it because they want to,” she said. “They are happy to give back in such a simple way.”

The idea sprouted from the organization’s annual Bikeathon, which the group has run since 2000. The event invites bicyclists to ride on the Bronx River Parkway finishing across the street from the County Center in White Plains.

More information on this and more ways to contribute to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation can be found at their Web site, . They can also be reached at (914) 777-3127.

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