About seven years ago, En Vogue salon owner Andrea Marron’s aunt got breast cancer. Marron decided to hold a fundraiser, see if she could raise a couple hundred bucks for her.
So Marron and the other stylists who work at her salon asked patrons if they world wear pink hair extensions for $10.
The idea took off with the clients.
“Everyone seems to know someone who has breast cancer,” Marron said last week.
This year the salon raised more than $1,300 for Arlisa Houston, who has been battling breast cancer for about a year now. The Columbia Falls yoga instructor and massage therapist has had a lumpectomy, but has been pursuing holistsic treatment rather than chemotherapy.
The alternative treatment isn’t covered by insurance and is expensive, she noted. She has to pay for it out of her own pocket.
The funds from the hair extensions will help greatly with expenses and Houston just wanted to say thank you to everyone that pitched in.
Houston learned about the fundraiser from friend Jamie Moser, who happened to see a woman with a pink hair extension.
One night earlier this month, more than 100 women came to an open house at the salon to have extensions put in to support Houston — many didn’t even know her, but just wanted to help.
“I was so moved emotionally,” Houston said. “This place was full of Columbia Falls people I had no connection with.”
Houston and her husband, Cameron, have lived in the valley for 18 years, 13 in Columbia Falls. Cameron is a fishing guide. Arlisa owns the Whitefish Healing Arts Center and also teaches yoga at the Yoga Hive.
Her battle with the disease continues. She undergoes more tests in the next few days to see how she’s doing.
Marron said they were happy to help and the extensions are available through the end of the month, if anyone is still interested.
“It’s pretty incredible how people respond,” a grateful Houston said.