Samara Gordon Wexler of West Hartford has organized the ‘Cut Out Cancer for Kids Day’ at Milano Salon & Day Spa.
By Ronni Newton
Samara Gordon Wexler will become a Bat Mitzvah in November, and although it’s not a requirement before the rite of passage into adulthood, she decided long ago that she would definitely do some kind of project in addition to the celebration.
The concept of “tzedakah” (social action) is important to many teens as they prepare for their bar or bat mitzvah. “It can be anything. There are no guidelines and you can raise money or donate your time,” Samara said.
On Sunday, Oct. 19, the project that Samara chose and has been working on for several months will culminate with the “Cut Out Cancer for Kids Day” at Milano Salon & Day Spa in Bloomfield. She hopes that 10-15 children who are cancer patients will spend the day being pampered, enjoying a massage, pedicure, manicure, or hairstyling at the salon. There will also be food, face painting, temporary tattoos, and art projects to enjoy throughout the day.
After her grandfather was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer two years ago and passed away earlier this year, Samara decided that her bat mitzvah project would have something to do with cancer, but decided it made more sense to focus on children. “I knew I wanted to do something helping kids with cancer, but I’m not old enough to volunteer at hospitals,” Samara said.
She found the Cut Out Cancer website, and was very happy when the organization agreed to meet with her and help her figure out how to run the event in collaboration with Milano’s Salon & Day Spa, which is providing the space, donating their products, and volunteering their staff to provide the services.
Milano’s, which is located at 41 Jerome Ave., Bloomfield, has been running “Cut Out Cancer @Milano” activities for adult cancer patients on the second Monday of every month since West Hartford resident Rachel Marcus and her friends Ronit Shoham, Carrie Shaw, Ayelet Chozick, Sharon Conway, and Cindy Horowitz started the non-profit earlier this year.
Samara said she has done most of the organizational work for her event herself, and has solicited donations from West Hartford businesses like Whole Foods and Party City. She is an 8th grader at Solomon Schechter Day School in West Hartford, and has received help and donations from her classmates to fill goodie bags for the participants.
Samara said space is still available for those wishing to attend Cut Out Cancer for Kids Day. The event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Kids are invited to attend with one parent, and need to contact her in advance at [email protected] in advance to obtain a permission slip and register for a time slot. Anyone who would like to volunteer can also contact her at that email address.
“It’s important to do anything you can to give back. My family is all about giving back to the community,” Samara said. She hopes this special day will be a nice break for the children and their families, and will give them a chance to focus on something positive.