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Salon helping fund Alternative Spring Break


Roffi Salon

Jennifer Despres, Brenda McGann and Catherine Sorrentino of Roffi Salon in Boston are helping donate proceeds to Emerson's Alternative Spring Break. (Courtesy photo)

For the third year in a row, Roffi Salon and Day Spa has partnered with the Alternative Spring Break program to host a cut-a-thon, raising funds for students’ weeklong service trips during the first week of March.

The salon, on Newbury Street in Boston, agreed to donate 20 percent of the proceeds from all student, staff, and faculty hair and makeup treatments offered by stylists Catherine Sorrentino, Brenda McGann, and Jennifer “J” Despres.

“Instead of just donating money, our owner Michael [Roffi] wanted to give back in haircuts,” Despres said. “It’s all about giving back and seeing some new faces in the salon.”

Alternative Spring Break’s partnership with Roffi started three years ago, when 100 percent of the proceeds from supporters’ haircuts over a one-week period were donated for the trips, Despres said.

Last year, the cut-a-thon was extended to four months, with 20 percent of all proceeds from student, faculty, and staff hair services donated to Alternative Spring Break. This year, more stylists have jumped on board and the event will last until March 12.

“It's exciting to be part of the growth of any local business—even one as established as Roffi Salon and Spa,” said Suzanne Hinton, associate director of Emerson’s Office of Service Learning and Community Action (SLCA), which organizes the Alternative Spring Break program. “We're thrilled that this partnership helps defray the cost of our service trips and works to build community even before we depart.”

“We’re really trying to push and get more attention this year,” Despres said. “Emerson is a great school and the students … always want to do fun and interesting things with their hair. It brings me back to my college days.”

John Dentinger ’14, a Media Studies major, went to the salon to help raise funds for his first Alternative Spring Break trip to El Paso, Texas, to learn about immigration issues.

“I’ve had really crazy hair for a while with long, scruffy sideburns, but I recently cleaned up my look,” Dentinger said. “I’m pretty particular about its look, but I met with J and had a great experience. It’s a great haircut.”

Rebecca Isenhart ’14, a Journalism major, went to Roffi recently because she was in need of a quick fix after receiving a poor cut at a local beauty school.

“I went to Brenda, and she was on her thirteenth hour of work and stayed late to cut my hair,” Isenhart said. “I was basically crying, and she took care of me and gave me so much attention. She has really good karma coming her way.”

Roffi offers women’s haircuts from $40 to $50 and men’s haircuts from $30 to $40, Despres said. 


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