Queens salon donates to Alzheimer’s group

Queens salon donates to Alzheimer’s group
The stylists at the Giorgio’s Salon and Spa in Whitestone wore their Halloween best for a fund-raiser for the Alzheimer’s Association of New York. Photo by Rebecca Henely
By Rebecca Henely

When the staff at Giorgio’s Salon and Spa in Whitestone decided to hold their Halloween celebration Saturday, they did it for a cause.

Stylists at the salon, at 153-35 Cross Island Pkwy., dressed as witches, cats, animals, flowers and a variety of other people such as creatures of the night cut hair for free between 10 a.m. and noon, all for a $10 or more donation to the Alzheimer’s Association of New York.

“We know with the population getting older and older and older there is probably not one person in this room that hasn’t been affected by Alzheimer’s disease,” said Michelle Pinto, both a client and spokeswoman for Giorgio’s.

The drive was the brainchild of Stella Cascriota, owner of Giorgio’s. She said the business has been in Whitestone for about 40 years, and she thought that this was a way to give back to the community.

“This is proof that you can have a good time and still think of others who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease,” Cascriota said.

Niurqui Mariano, physician outreach manager for the Alzheimer’s Association of New York who was at the salon, said the day’s event raised money for research as well as awareness of the illness.

“This is truly a terrible, terrible disease,” Mariano said.

Pinto said more than 50 people attended in the first hour, many of whom gave donations even if they did not take the haircut.

Laura Fabiani, store manager for Giorgio’s, said her friend’s father, John Delarosa, has Alzheimer’s disease and her friend comes home right after work to help her mother take care of her father because he cannot be left alone.

“Her dad’s finally lost his memory now. He doesn’t recognize them, doesn’t know their names,” she said.

Fabiani said this event was wonderful.

“I do whatever I can to help out,” Fabiani said.

Mariano said 5.3 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, which is very stressful for the patients’ caregivers.

“They’re suffering also, watching this disease and caring for the people,” Cascriota said.

In addition to the drive and the stylists dressed in costumes, the store held a costume contest. The top prize winner, Grace Petrullo, who was dressed as sunflowers, gave her prize to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Cascriota said she was thankful to her staff and to Fabiani for the event.

Mariano said caretakers who need resources can go to alz.org/nyc or call the 24-hour helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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