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Potsdam business raising money for Bigwarfe memorial fund

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POTSDAM - A Potsdam business will be raising funds on July 13 in the memory of former Norwood-Norfolk Elementary School Principal Joanne M. Bigwarfe.

Today’s Hair and Day Spa, 36 Market St., will be hosting a “Cuts for a Cause” fundraiser from 1-3 p.m. with all proceeds going to Joanne’s Gift of Love, a memorial fund that provides scholarships for two students, one at Potsdam Central and one at Norwood-Norfolk Central.

The fund is named in memory of Mrs. Bigwarfe, 43, who passed away on May 29, 2012 following a battle with cancer. It was started by Mrs. Bigwarfe’s family.

“The owner of the salon, Shelly Murray, organizes an annual fundraiser each summer during the town of Potsdam’s festivities. Today’s Hair and Day Spa has generously asked Joanne’s Gift of Love founders for their approval to host a fundraiser. It is a great cause,” said Susan Barrett, Mrs. Bigwarfe’s sister.

She said Today’s Hair and Day Spa had been a sponsor on T-shirts that were used for a fundraising basketball tournament in January.

“She knew that we were doing the scholarship. She approached us and asked us if she could have our permission (to hold the fundraiser). We thought it was a great idea. We thought it was a great cause,” Ms. Barrett said.

Ms. Murray said they do annual fundraisers to support the community.

“We’ve been doing fundraisers every year. This will be our third year of doing different fundraisers to raise money for the community. This year we chose Joanne’s Gift of Love,” she said.

Ms. Murray and employees Danielle Castanier, Ellen McNamara, Wayne Foster and Kate Charleson will be assisting with the fundraiser that day.

“Each year we want to give back to the local community. We want to let our community know we care about them helping us be in business for this many years,” according to Ms. Murray, who has been in the industry for 27 years and has owned Today’s Hair and Day Spa since 1997.

Ms. Bigwarfe was a former customer at the business, she said.

“We know her sister, Susan, very well. Susan actually came to one of our fundraisers,” and her daughter won a prize, Ms. Murray said.

In addition to the “Cuts for a Cause” fundraiser, she said other donations will be accepted. They’re also selling tickets to enter a drawing for an opportunity to win a free makeover from Today’s Hair and Day Spa. Tickets are $10, and are available through July 31. They hope to offer the service the first part of August.

“Those proceeds will go to the fund. I figure it’s all about giving back. The community gives to us each day. I love the idea that Joanne’s Gift of Love helps our community,” Ms. Murray said.

Ms. Barrett said, in addition to the efforts by Today’s Hair and Day Spa, care baskets are also underway and will be donated to patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation at a local cancer treatment center.

“It’s an additional way that we want to help the community. It’s something that Joanne would have wanted,” she said.

There have been several fundraisers for Joanne’s Gift of Love, she said, including a basketball competition, a “Walk/Run To Remember” and a benefit concert organized by Troy O’Brien and his father. That concert alone raised nearly $900, Ms. Barrett said.

“It’s just amazing how many people she knew and how many people she helped and how many people have come back and responded. It’s heartfelt, the amount of people and the comments and support we’ve gotten,” she said.

For more information on “Cuts for a Cause,” call 265-0018.

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