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Whitestone salon donates hair for needy on 9/11

Dozens of women of all ages gathered at Giorgio’s Salon and Spa in Whitestone Saturday to donate hair for needy girls of tomorrow.

The salon, at 153-25 Cross Island Pkwy., was the site of a charity event with the Locks of Love foundation. For two hours girls and women of all ages donated at least 10 inches of their hair to the nonprofit group that will use it to make free hair pieces for girls who suffer from cancer.

The store’s owner, Stella Castriota, said she wanted to hold the event on the Sept. 11 anniversary to evoke a sense of optimism on a solemn day.

“We chose 9/11 because there is so much sadness and we wanted to bring happiness,” said Castriota, who has owned the salon for 35 years.

A staff of 35 hairdressers catered to the dozens of women, young and old, who came in throughout the day to have their hair cut. The donated locks had to be free of highlights and pulled back into a ponytail to be cut off.

Ashley McCorey, a 16-year-old St. Agnes High School student from College Point, said she was quite anxious in the week leading up to the big cutoff. The brunette said her nerves were eased when she thought about how her tresses were going to help a girl recover mentally from a serious illness.

“I heard about it and I thought it was a good cause and I needed a haircut,” she said as hairdresser Anna Lim cut off 10 inches in front of her two friends.

Those who did not have long enough hair or did not want to cut off their locks were able to donate $10 to the organization, for which they received a free coupon for a future haircut.

Castriota said she was glad the event was a success because she has always enjoyed working in Whitestone and serving its residents.

“I’ve been here for 35 years and I thought this was a good way to give back,” she said.

Michele Pinto, a spokeswoman for North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital, who helped out with the event, said the donations were even more timely because September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

“These locks really do go a long way,” she said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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