Two local businesswomen are using their time and talents to help raise money for local families affected by autism.
April is National Autism Awareness and on Saturday, visitors to Salon Gloss, 6800 Washington Avenue, can get great new accessories for their hair, order a stylish new purse, and enter a drawing for an incredible door prize.
All proceeds will go to the ANGEL Network of Racine. ANGEL stands for Autism Network, Guidance, Education and Life, and the organization provides grants for families for the services and therapists they'll need. There are also support groups where parents and families can find advice and a friendly shoulder from people who understand.
Sophie Aslanidis, owner of Salon Gloss, said she found out about ANGEL through a client. As the parent of a autistic son, Aslanidis understands the challenges. While she said her family hasn't used ANGEL, she is grateful the network is around.
"Diagnosis of autism is growing so now we're at one in 88 kids," she said. "This is the upcoming generation and I'm glad to help ANGEL so they can help more families."
Aslanidis' son is 7-year-old Christos, a student in an inclusion classroom at Bull Fine Arts. She said it's been a hard adjustment, but now that the pieces are in place for him, Christos is progressing.
"The proper support makes all the difference," she said. "He has a CAS (close adult supervision) and he's making great gains."
Through the month of April, Salon Gloss is offering new looks for hair with a $10 blue hair extension. Patrons can also fill out a blue puzzle piece for cash donations that enter them into a drawing for a door prize of Moroccanoil products worth $190.
On Saturday, Miche Bag by the Lake joins the activities for ANGEL with a purse party at Salon Gloss. There will be Miche Bags on display for orders, refreshments and door prizes.
The salon is located next door to where . Since the company changed its business model, the boutique is closed, but Carrie Renzulli still is a Miche Bag rep. She wanted to do something that would not just grow her business but also lend a hand to local organizations.
"This is our first purse party for a cause, and I hope it's a success," she said. "I want to get our name out there while raising money for local groups and organizations."
Renzulli is donating 15 percent of the days' orders to ANGEL. She's hoping for $200 to $300 to start and grow from there.
"This is about helping each other out," she said.
Salon Gloss is open from 9 am to 2 pm Saturday. Call (262) 886-6101.