Hair salon goes a cut above to help teen fight cancer

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PELHAM — More than 50 adults and youngsters showed up at the Beauty Cottage Nov. 4 to have their haircut to support 13-year-old Robert Duffy in his fight against brain cancer.

Six stylists, including Beauty Cottage owner Donna Prudomme, made cut after cut from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., raising $1,500 for Duffy and his mother Christine.

“All the girls are donating their time,” Prudomme said. “We’re not accepting tips or anything. All the money is going straight to Robert and his mother.”

Prudomme said when she arrived at the salon around 10:30 that morning, there was a line waiting to have their hair cut for $10.

“At first I thought it was because we turned the clocks back, but then I realized everyone was here to support Robert,” she said.

On more than one occasion, the Beauty Cottage found themselves cutting hair for whole families.

The DeSimones were just one of the families to sit together as they got their hair cut. Father Paul joined son Ryan, 6, and daughter Nicole, 4, for a trim.

Not everyone came in simply for a trim. Nine-year-old Brianna Patterson cut off 10 inches of her locks to donate to “Wigs for Kids.”

This is the second time Patterson donated her hair. Three years ago she and her sister Mikayla, 7, both donated 12 inches of hair.

The Beauty Cottage wanted to make sure those waiting in line would not get frustrated by the wait, so they provided popcorn and pizza, donated by Brothers II in Dracut, for their patrons.

One of Duffy’s friends, 12-year-old Shannon Caleotalnaza, donated her time by doing face painting for the kids.

“We did this a couple of years ago with great success,” Prudomme said. “I think this year we’re going to top it.”

Prudomme said the first Cut-A-Thon the Beauty Cottage did was for her brother-in-law Paul, who ultimately lost his battle with brain cancer.

“We wanted to do it annually, but last year it got away from us,” Prudomme said.

Prudomme said raising money for brain-cancer patients will always be special to her. The salon plans to hold the event again next year.