Salons unite for HIV/AIDS charity hair show

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Seventeen local hair salons have signed up to show wild, wonderful and wacky hair designs to raise funds for ARCS, the Hudson Valley's oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization.

ARCS' Hairdressers' Disco Ball and Fantasy Hair Show -- scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9, at Shadows on the Hudson in Poughkeepsie -- has doubled in size for its second year. Last year's event surprised organizers and guests alike by drawing a sellout crowd of more than 350 guests.

"We had no idea what to expect," says organizer Carla Ramos, a hair stylist in the area for more than 30 years. "The day before the event, we realized we had sold every last ticket and we were pushing the limits of that venue's capacity. The response from salons, their customers and the public was overwhelmingly positive."

For year two, Ramos and ARCS have moved the show to a larger, more accommodating venue at Shadows on the Hudson at 176 Rinaldi Blvd. in Poughkeepsie.

"Shadows solves many problems for us," Ramos said. "They're set up to handle large crowds, with the right lighting, sound system and entertainment options already in place."

With a larger venue, Ramos was able to enlist more salons to participate.

"We have 17 salons in the show, and each will have one to three models on the runway," Ramos said.

This year's theme is "What Are Your Dreams?" Stylists' designs are being kept top-secret until that night. "But I can promise that you'll be blown away by what these artists are doing with hair," she said.

The event also features a silent auction, specialty cocktails from Belvedere Red vodka, a retro dance party with music by DJ Freaky Frankie and complimentary hors d'oeuvre. The Hairdressers' Disco Ball will be hosted by Annie from K104.7 FM's morning drive-time show. Tony Beaudoin and Kiley J. Winn will conduct the runway show. Shadows will be rolling out the red carpet, and guests will have the opportunity to pose for the cameras, too.

Tickets are $35 in advance and can be purchased at www.arcs.org or at one of the participating hair salons. Salons are also selling $1 "red ribbons" to raise additional funds for ARCS.

"We're fully expecting to sell out again this year," said J. Dewey, ARCS' spokesperson. "The response so far has been huge. We're very grateful to see such an outpouring of support and energy for the local fight against HIV/AIDS."

Participating Salons are Studio at Stephanie's in Milton; Tressol-Mi in New Paltz; Marion Salon Spa in Pleasant Valley; Dazzles Salon and East Coast Salon, both in Wappingers Falls; and the following, all located in Poughkeepsie: A Step Ahead, Appearance Day Spa, Bella Luci Salon, Cartier's Salon, Collage Hair and Colour, Color & Shape, Edgar by Appointment, Gallery Hair Salon, Heads Up Hair Salon, Hot Locks, Salon 52 and Your Presence.

For tickets, visit www.arcs.org/hairdressersdisco.php, call (914) 785-8283 or visit one of the participating salons.

ARCS' mission is to promote prevention and wellness for all people, to encourage life-affirming decisions maximizing their quality of life, and to coordinate care for those living with complex health conditions. Founded in 1983, ARCS provides care and support for more than 3,000 local residents annually through offices in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties. Visit www.arcs.org for complete information on ARCS' programs and services.

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