Giving back becomes habit-forming, says Jeffrey Lamorte, who should know: he picked up second place in the 2017 Hairdressers at Heart Wella Cares contest. “Once you finish an event and can say, ‘We just raised $20,000,’ you’re addicted!” Lamorte declares. “That’s it!”
The owner of three Jeffrey Lamorte Salon and Day Spa locations in Illinois, Lamorte was awarded $5,000 in Wella Cares prize money for last fall’s event he held along with salon partner Jason Lamorte and nearby salon owner friends Vance Theodour of Salon Evangelos and Chuck Morris of Charles Morris Salon. Every fall, Lamorte schedules an educational event for stylists and ties it to a fundraiser, each time benefiting a different organization. Last year, the beneficiary was Treasure Chest, which distributes clothing and toys to children undergoing chemotherapy. Another year, the event benefited hurricane victims in Haiti, but typically the charities are local. Each year’s event is held at a hotel and attracts about 150 hairdressers for hair education, food, lighting, music and video. For information on this year’s event, go to the salon’s Facebook page.
“We had our three salons, Vance’s salon and Chuck’s salon as five dropoff points for gift cards, money—anything,” Lamorte explains. “We announced it in the summer to give our clients and staff plenty of time to bring in something. When we presented everything we had, it was great! All of us were there, a representative from the charity came and Sonya Dove from Wella joined us as we gave them thousands of dollars worth of gift cards and money. A small charity is so grateful for $5,000 or $10,000; it makes a big impact.”
Lamorte and the other winners turned over the prize money to Treasure Chest as well. The team also does cut-a-thons to raise money for brain cancer research, and Lamorte has been around the “beauty + fundraising” approach all his life.
“My father has salons in the city, and years ago he was very involved in Y-Me to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer,” Lamorte says. “Vance Theodour and Chuck Morris worked for my dad, too, so it really starts with my dad, but now we’ve taken it to the next level. My dad loves that! It’s such a win/win.”
Lamorte plans to enter the Wella Cares contest every year. “Maybe it will inspire other salons to do more charity work so they can raise a lot of money and win the prizes,” he says. “We’ve been named among Salon Today’s Top 200 seven times but, when it’s all said and done, I would love people to say we not only have a great salon and great talent but also make a great charitable effort. It’s an unbelievable feeling to raise money for people who need it. It’s karma. Why wouldn’t you surround yourself with that?”
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