Staff, customers, local residents, a church and a women's group helped make Studio 2 Salon's annual holiday gift drive even better this year.
"We partner with staff and patrons of Studio 2 Salon, and with the Razzle Dazzle Diva Red Hats each year, said the salon's Kennettee "Kenny" Lampman. "We are also helped by residents of Lake Arrowhead Park and Laurel Park and many more, and have gotten donations from Grace Baptist Church across the street."
They contribute to two main causes - The Women's Abuse Center of Lee County and the Bayshore Fire & Rescue District's annual holiday party and gift drive.
Bayshore Fire District’s Shawn Stackhouse, Theresa Sharp and Brent Objartel, with Studio 2 Salon’s Kennettee “Kenny” Lampman and owner Theresa Auer at collection of many toys and holiday items gathered at Studio 2 Salon for the station.
"We thank everyone for their support, our customers and those in the community for the support we've had doing this for the last five years," said Owner Theresa Auer. "And it is important for us that all of the donations stay in our community."
Customers make it a point to bring in donations each year, whether they live in the area year-round or are just getting back into town, Auer said.
"When we first started this five years ago, it started out with just a few things in the back seat of my car," said Lampman. "Then we filled all the seats and the trunk, and it grew from there. If it weren't for our customers and friends who donate, we would not be able to do the things we do with this drive."
"We're really thankful for all the wonderful support they give us each year," said Bayshore office manager Theresa Sharp. "I'm just so overwhelmed each year."
This year, the district decided to honor the salon with a special plaque. "It states: In recognition for their support of our annual Christmas Cheer Event - to the staff and patrons of Studio 2 Salon and the Razzle Dazzle Divas."
Firefighters who helped pick up the donations included Brent Objartel and Shawn Stackhouse.
"It's amazing that in this time of need for many, people were so generous," said Objartel.
"It's a beautiful thing, these are really nice people that have donations that will go to good homes, people that need them."
The station has an annual Christmas dinner and party for local families and their children. "This year we have food, entertainment - even a magician - and of course, Santa Claus," said Sharp.
The whole lobby area was filled with toys and gifts for the station, and numerous items had already been distributed to the Women's Center.
Lampman is a key organizer at the salon, and said the final tally was more than their goal, and varied.
For the Women's Abuse Center, they collected:
n 309 pieces of new clothing
n 30 Christmas mugs filled with goodies
n 30 filled shoe boxes with holiday items
n 100 toiletry bags
and 10 new purses
For Bayshore Fire, they collected:
n 300-plus stuffed animals
n 40 coloring books
n 59 Christmas stuffed coffee mugs
n 30 filled shoeboxes
n 40 Christmas stockings
n 5 filled book bags
n 15 new pairs of socks
n 20 notebooks/pen/pencil sets
and 100 gift bags with hot chocolate and cookies.
Studio 2 is at 19001 N. Tamiami Trail # 2 in North Fort Myers. Hours are Tuesday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 567-0660. Their Web site is ourstudio2salon.com.