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Cut-a-Thon Trims Down Expenses for West Essex

Panico Salon hosts second annual event that benefits foundation for education.

The West Essex Foundation for Education held its second annual Cut-a-Thon at Panico Salon and Spa on Tuesday

The WEFE was founded in 2008 and serves to help enrich the quality of education for students by financially facilitating programs within the regional school district. 

The executive committee consists of President Eileen Fiore, Vice President Rori Berse, Treasurer Bonnie Clark, Community Outreach Leader Nancy Dianesi and Secretary Lee Boveroux, all of whom are parents of West Essex students.

The organization's mission is to contribute funds to the "school's media and technology, library, fine and performing arts programs, assembly/lecture programs, instructional materials, field trips, professional development and continuing education."

"Last year we awarded $4,000 in grants to teachers at West Essex," Fiore said.

This is just one manifestation of the WEFE efforts. With the profits made from this year's Cut-a-Thon, the group hopes to make even more donations to the school.

The committee hoped to meet or exceed the $3,000 raised from last year's inaugural  event.

Within the first hour of the fundraiser, a line of customers began to form outside of the salon. Fiore estimated that within the first two hours, more than 100 people had already received washes, cuts and blow outs from the Panico team.

Members of WEFE ran the five-hour event in cooperation with the staff at Panico.

West Essex students also volunteered to assist with the fundraiser. Seniors Christen Egan and Kathleen Turnbull were among those who donated their time.

"We probably shampooed 15 to 20 people each," Turnbull said.

The volunteers also helped to keep the salon neat by sweeping and replenishing the towel supply to lessen the work for the hairdressers.

"Planning this event was easy on our part, since it was the second time around," Fiore said. "We owe a great thanks to [salon owner] Mr. Jack Panico."

Panico ensures that his staff members are willing to participate in events like the Cut-a-Thon when they are hired. The salon hosts a similar event each year for James Caldwell High School.

The WEFE will continue its fundraising efforts for the district with a golf outing in September in recognition of the school's 50th anniversary.

Kelly Mosser is a student at West Essex and is part of the school's internship program with The Caldwells Patch.

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