The third annual Cut-A-Thon Festival was held Saturday, June 11, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Whistle Stop Mall. The festival is a fundraiser for Hospice House Foundation of WNC.
Hospice is a non-profit organization that specializes in end of life care for patients with terminal illnesses. The doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy, therapists, and volunteers all work together to make each patient as comfortable as possible in the last stages of their illness. Hospice services are a welcome alternative for these patients that would rather stay in their homes instead of going into a nursing home.
Michelle Alderson, the head of Hospice House Foundation of WNC, said that there were salons that came as far away as Chicago for the Cut-A-Thon. “We were all just so amazed by the turnout and the show of support by the sponsors and the community.”
Visitors were welcome to enjoy the entertainment and some food from local restaurants before venturing inside to get their haircut for $10.
A presentation of the police k-9 unit began at 10 a.m. Officer Clay Bryson spoke about the k-9 unit and his dog, Hoss, demonstrating the dog’s training on a “non-compliant subject.” Bryson explained to the crowd that the dogs are trained to attack someone at the arm because there is less nerve damage. Bryson also said that he would personally like to set up some kind of program where people could donate to the k-9 program because it is an expensive operation when you consider the veterinarian bills, food, training, and care of the dogs.
Next, members of the Danny Antoine’s Karate demo team put on an impressive performance. The team went through their routine twice for the crowd, complete with a demo by “Mr. Danny.”
A special haircut with celebrity stylist Ben Mollin from Bravo’s Shear Genius was up for bids. The lucky winner, at $90, was Laurie Mills of Four Seasons Hospice. She said that she did not mind paying that much for something as simple as a haircut because she knew it was all going to benefit a most worthwhile cause. Mills also joked that she was excited to get “the works” from Ben Mollin but she was not going to get a tattoo as well.
Live music was provided by the group called Three Nails from The Worship Center in Virginia. The lead singer, David Berry, is the pastor of The Worship Center.
Later, there was a high-energy workout demonstration by the Zumba dancers.
Once inside, people could wander around looking at local businesses booths, buy tshirts to help benefit Hospice and get their haircut. The line for haircuts formed quickly and remained long all afternoon.
Walking among the crowd, dressed like a fairy and passing out wishes and candy to the kids, was Laurie Mills, a board member for Hospice.
Alderson said that it was too early to tell how much was raised, however, they were sure that they exceeded both their donations and their expectations for this year.