‘GNO for Good:’ A cut above the rest

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SALEM, Ohio – A new ‘do does more than to raise the spirit of one woman. It gives another woman and her family a new lease on life.

Connie Ortz of Petersburg, Ohio, cut almost 17 inches from her hair to raise $4,000 for her aunt, Cheryl Zappia, a 38-year-old mother of two who is waiting for a liver transplant.

Ortz belongs to a group of six professional young women who modified the typical “girls’ night out.” Ortz, Susan Bender, Kim Johnson, Patti Gibson, Liz Weingart and Beth Bean were getting together casually once a month to lend support to one another, but then realized they could work together to also support others.

The group raised money and collected school supplies for Sunday schools, participated in community clean-ups, helped out at local churches, and performed other acts of kindness. The members slugged their group “GNO for Good.”

During one of their get-togethers, Ortz proposed the idea of asking for pledges for each inch she cut from her hair to raise money for her aunt. Ortz only had her long hair trimmed since high school and thought perhaps cutting it would be a unique way to raise money and give herself a new look. The cut hair would be donated to Locks of Love, an organization dedicated to making wigs for children who have lost their hair.

The other members agreed and got busy raising funds for the event. Ortz’s original goal was to raise $1,000, but the group raised that goal to $5,000.

Robert Duponty of Robert’s Hair Salon agreed to close his shop April 23 so the girls could have their night out at his place. He agreed to cut and style Ortz’s hair for free.

Originally, Ortz was going to cut 10 inches from her hair, but when she sat down in the barber’s chair, she told him to take about 17.

“I love my new hair, and Robert did a great job. It only takes me about five minutes to do my hair in the morning when it used to take 20,” said Ortz. “We ended up with about $4,000, a little shy of our goal, but very impressive anyway. And it blew my original goal right out of the water.”

The money will go into a general fund for Zappia to pay everything from hospital bills and medication to helping with the electric bill because Zappia is unable to work full-time.

Zappia has endured several blood transfusions and has also been hospitalized twice with an ammonia-induced semi-coma. She is on two donor lists and is waiting for a match.

GNO for Good isn’t sure what its next project will be, but most of all, the group simply enjoys getting together and doing something good.

(Reporter Annie Santoro can be reached at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or asantoro@farmanddairy.com.)

To read a previous story on Girl’s Night Out For Good click here.

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