Today’s news:

Boro salons cater to disabled youth during holiday season

U.S. Marine Sgts. Gary LaBarbera (l.) and Hulio Mateus, at LP & Co. salon, volunteer at an event for disabled children.
TimesLedger Newspapers

For the 29th year Larry Mattola, owner of LP & Co. Hair Design, has opened his shop on a Sunday prior to the holiday season to provide beauty treatments to the developmentally disabled children in the community.

But this year, the owner of Concept E Salon, John Elenterio, decided to add to the holiday pleasure of children and young adults. For years he had helped out at Larry’s shop, but this year decided to volunteer his shop also.

The children, who undergo hair washing, cutting, make-up application and nail treatment, come from District 75 schools, cerebral palsy organizations and word of mouth. The salon workers and their families volunteer. The patrons partake in raffles as a source of revenue for toys and needed materials. Prize baskets come from local stores. Friends of the workers and their children give out toys and serve refreshments to those who come to the shop for treatments. Some patrons from the stores volunteer.

This year, U.S. Marine Sgts. Gary LaBarbera and Hulio Mateus came in their uniforms and posed with the children. PS 721 teachers Ashley O’Rourke, Cheryl Paprocki and Pat Watson came to be with their students. The teachers had spent several days preparing their students for the beauty salon experience. Some, due to their medical problems, had never been to a beauty shop.

Both salons were decked out with holiday decorations, trays of cookies, bagels and soft drinks. Volunteers dressed in donated Santa Claus, Rudolph and Spider-Man costumes. Balloons were made into toys and wreaths. Lu Lu’s Bakery donated trays of cookies to both stores. Classic Media donated DVDs as gifts to the children.

GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: The shootings in Newtown, Conn., have again reignited the debate about the ease of buying automatic weapons, but it also shined a light on the teachers in our schools.

It seems teachers are blamed for the lack of progress in education. The trend seems to be to close schools and fire teachers and principals to make schools better. Suddenly a young teacher, Victoria Soto, took the bullets meant for children and a principal, Dawn Hochsprung, and the school psychologist, Mary Sherlach, died.

What more do they want our educators to do? Remember Newtown!

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