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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 25, 2010

Re-Nue Spa to hold benefit for Haiti

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

ALTAMONT — The flag of Haiti is red and blue. Haitian school children learn that, in 1803, the revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines ripped apart the red, white, and blue French flag and threw away the center portion of white. He asked a young seamstress to stitch together the red and blue, and then mounted them horizontally on a staff as the new national symbol for the island country.

Staffers at the Re-Nue Spa in Altamont looked up the flag, and will be offering red and blue hair extensions and red and blue manicures on March 28 as part of a fund-raiser for the earthquake devastated country.

“People want to help but don’t know what to do,” said Rhonda Flansburg who owns the spa with her husband, Barry Gasparro. “This is giving them an outlet. People feel secure with the Red Cross.”

All the funds raised at the event, which will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the spa’s 119 Maple Ave. shop, will go to the American Red Cross relief effort in Haiti, Flansburg said.

In January, just after the earthquake shook Haiti, shattering millions of lives,  “My husband said we should do a benefit,” Flansburg recalled. When she got to work, stylist Lisa Bassler said the same thing. “We took it from there,” said Flansburg.

She said she was amazed at the number of people who volunteered to participate once they heard the spa was holding the fund-raiser.

Luke Munroe, who races at the Fonda Speedway in a stock car sponsored by Re-Nue Spa, will autograph pictures for a donation to the Red Cross.

Altamont volunteer firefighters in turnout gear will arrive at the spa in a fire truck and will hand out fire-safety coloring books to kids.

Kim Buckley, a local singer and songwriter, will provide live entertainment. “She’s a customer at the shop,” said Flansburg, enthusiastically comparing Buckley’s style to Janis Joplin’s.

Hungerford Market and Subway are donating baked goods along with bakers from the Altamont Community Tradition. “Thank you, ladies,” said Flansburg.

The hair extensions in red or blue will cost $10 each. “I’m donating my cost; I won’t get anything back,” said Flansburg. “It will all go to the Red Cross.”

Melissa Whipple will provide chair massages for a dollar a minute, with the proceeds all going to the relief fund.

Bella Fleur will sell spring flowers, and face painters will be on hand as well as balloon artists who turn balloons into animals.

Barbara Gray, a nurse from the Red Cross, will check blood pressures as well as collecting donations.

A wide variety of people have contributed items for a silent auction, ranging from artwork to an organic food basket. Potter Lars Turin has donated one of his pieces. “You wouldn’t believe it,” said Flansburg. “He just gave it to us.”

“People have just been so generous,” she concluded. “Everybody should come.”

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