As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is currently being observed, the staff at the Parisian Day Spa, Cromwell, CT devised a multi-pronged plan to encourage the spa’s customers, as well as local businesses, to take part in a fundraising effort that so far has paid off handsomely. “This is something that the staff came up with on their own; it was just something that they wanted to do,” explained Patricia Barbaro, co-manager of the spa, which is located at 9 Berlin Road.Once they had agreed on a goal, it was nothing for the staff of 45 to begin laying the foundations for the fundraiser, which was held at the spa this past Sunday.
“We went around to local businesses, to ask them would they be willing to donate,” Barbaro explained. They reached out to a full range of businesses, she said, everything from car detailing to local restaurants that donated gift certificates. Other businesses contributed supplies or merchandise and the women from the spa fashioned gift baskets with those donations as well as others containing spa products, Barbaro said. “We had a silent auction this past Sunday, from 12 to 4,” Barbaro said, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. “We raised $3,200,” a clearly pleased Barbaro reported.In addition to the auction, the spa also offered special fundraising treatments as well on Sunday, Barbaro said.
“We had the staff offer chair massages, mini massages and paraffin hand treatments, and we charged our customers $1 a minute. And we also were offering mini-makeovers,” which came to an average of $5 to $10 per service, Barbaro said. The staff also offered to donate various services, which were raffled off to customers “so they can come in and have the services for free,” Barbaro said. “It’s our way of way of saying ‘thank you’ for coming in.”The staff hasn’t tallied up the proceeds from the raffle, or from a jeans day, in which the staff paid to wear blue jeans to work, so that’s not included in the $3,200, Barbaro said. Neither, she said, are the proceeds from the continuing sale – for $1 each – of handmade milk chocolate pink ribbons, the symbol of breast cancer awareness.
The candies are being made by Barbaro’s fellow manager, Michelle Salafia.When the entire fundraising effort, which runs the entire month, ends next week, Barbaro said, she hopes – and expects – to raise between $4,500 and $5,000.“We are proud of ourselves,” Barbaro admitted, and also thankful to the numerous businesses “that donated food and pastries, so we had food and coffee and pastries and wine for our clients who came in.”“We had a lot of great support from local businesses and from our staff,” she added. And it’s continuing, she said. But, undaunted, she is already looking forward to next year, when, she promises, the spa will hold another fundraiser – and, she vows, “We will top” what they made this year