Meanwhile, across town in Lake Mary, the owner of the upscale Salon Ratay was leading her team of stylists in a very personal, very hands-on mission — giving makeovers to four survivors of domestic violence.
Ratay’s crew arrived by 7:30 a.m. and devoted most of the morning to cutting, coloring and highlighting hair and waxing eyebrows for the women, who are all current residents of Harbor House, the domestic violence shelter. Some of the women had never had such pampering in their lives.
“To get hugs from those ladies at the end – it’s just amazing,” said Sherry Ratay, who opened the boutique salon six years ago. “You know, they come in with their self-esteem so beaten down, but they leave with a whole different spirit.”
It’s not the first time Ratay and her staff have donated their time and talent, either. They’ve done makeovers for women undergoing breast-cancer treatment, arranged a fundraising cut-a-thon for a lung-transplant patient, and six months ago they did their first Harbor House makeover.
One woman studied herself in the mirror afterwards and began to cry in gratitude. “I’ve never looked like a girl before,” she said.
That’s when Ratay pledged to offer the makeovers to Harbor House residents twice a year from then on.
In all, the salon sacrificed about $650 in labor to help the women for free Tuesday, but Ratay figured it was worth every penny.
“Seeing how grateful they are inspires us,” she said. “It gives us all a check of reality.”