July 26, 2018

Hair BRA-Zaar: Wigs Out Event

June 6th, 2018 was a night to remember at Summit Salon Academy. The community gathered together for a fun filled night of beauty, creativity, and most importantly, making a difference! Summit held their our third annual Hair BRA-Zaar event. We have put on this event every year for the past three years to give back to the community and spotlight their students’ work in hopes to make a difference: difference vs change? in support of the breast cancer foundation, Wings of Karen.

Behind the BRA-Zaar

Hair BRA-Zaar is an event that Summit puts together to raise money for a community based breast cancer organization called Wings of Karen. This organization was founded by Summit’s dear friend, Kristi Blair, who we consider a force to be reckoned with. She is not only the founder of the non-profit organization, but she is also a survivor of breast cancer. Kristi has dedicated her life to advocating for the breast cancer community, as well as building a fund for breast cancer research. Her organization has funded enough money for breast cancer research to develop a new vaccine named after Wings of Karen! When we heard Kristi’s powerful story and mission, we immediately knew we had to get involved. That’s when Hair BRA-Zaar was born.

The Theme & the Work

Summit Salon Academy puts a lot of work into the Hair BRA-Zaar event because it means so much to us and everyone involved. This year, the theme was “Hair BRA-Zaar Wigs Out”. The students were given the assignments to decorate a bra and create an entire look that centered around it the bra. They used wigs, hairpieces and extensions to create amazing hairstyles that showcased their creativity and skills. In addition to raising money for Wings of Karen, the event did a great job of shedding light on women’s health and how we must make it a priority.

Some of the models who fearlessly walked down the catwalk debuting our students’ work were breast cancer survivors! We are so inspired and touched by their strength! These are real women with real stories and real strength. Each one of them deserves to be honored and looked up to!

Check out more pictures from the fashion show here!

A Ripple Effect

An event like this inspires others to do good. Academy owner, Michael Shea, shared a touching story that really moved him and taught him that there is no age limit when it comes to learning how to be a bright light in this world.

“My wife and I were MCing the event and during intermission we were explaining to the audience how they can donate to Wings of Karen. Someone brought up a large glass jar that read “donations”. We made the audience aware that if they would like to donate cash they could put it into this glass jar. Immediately a little boy that couldn’t be any more than four years old came up to me with a handful of cash and said, ‘Where do I put the money?” I was moved to tears by his bravery and his genuine need to make a difference. When he ran back to his father with a massive grin, his father couldn’t have looked more proud of his son.

These small moments show me that it’s never too early to make a difference. The little boy taught someone much older than him a lesson. I will never forget it. This is why we put on this event. To inspire people.”

Helping Hands

So many people helped make this event successful. We had the support of a local salon, the Hair Lounge, that specializes in hair extensions come in as guest artists to give the students additional training on wigs and hair pieces. The father of one of our former students, DJ Dr. Roy L and his business RoyLSounds, has DJ’d the event for the past three years.

We are grateful to the amazing companies and brands that offered their products and services to be auctioned off at the event’s silent auction. We are especially grateful to Salon Services, whose owner Sydney Berry, is a close friend and three time cancer survivor. Sydney originally introduced us to Kristi Blair and Wings of Karen. It’s a great experience to get to support other companies and to show appreciation toward each other.

Our students need to be recognized for all of the amazing work they put into the event. During the planning of Hair BRA-Zaar we asked the students how much they would like to raise for Wings of Karen. We were shocked when they all ecstatically said $10,000. But because of their hard work and dedication, we not only hit our goal, but raised over $16,000 for breast cancer research!

A Tradition

This is the third year of the Hair BRA-Zaar. We definitely see a tradition being built. “We will put on this event every year for as long as we can,” said Michael. Events like Hair BRA-Zaar really bring a community together. The beauty industry has a long history of involvement and Summit is part of that history now.

A Word From Kristi

“Thank you Summit Salon Academy for funding the research that will enable better treatments, prevention and real hopes of cures. Wings of Karen is different in that it seeks out and directly funds promising research studies that are typically in the early stages when it can be difficult obtaining the seed money needed to get to trials. An example of this success is the WOKVAC breast cancer vaccine study, named after the foundation, which through initial funding from Wings of Karen and successful results in the early trials, won additional funding through the NIH to push it into clinical trials. We are working with extremely dedicated, accomplished researchers to help us achieve everyone’s mission.

It has been a great joy to work with Summit Salon Academy. It is the grassroots efforts that we were founded on and which keep us moving forward. It is here that the soul thrives and where the heart beats, working with this incredible group of individuals. Thank you for sharing your talent and resources with Wings of Karen. It’s meaningful work that matters to the many lives affected by breast cancer. We appreciate you”
– Kristi Blair

Join Us!

Putting on events like these helps Summit’s students see the importance of strong community relationships. Michael and Karen Shea really try to make that evident with their school. Michael says, “Anyone can take from a community. We want to make sure that we give. Our school is different. This is more than sticking a license in someone’s hand. It’s giving them the skills and the education to make a difference. It’s providing them a lifestyle and a career.”

Join the Summit family and be part of the change that is clearly being made. Enroll in our cosmetology or esthetician program to see what a life filled with beauty and creativity looks like. Contact us to begin a journey you’ll never forget.

{Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.}

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Summit Salon
Academy Tacoma
3702 South Fife Street
Suite B102
Tacoma, WA 98409