Crowd Turns Out for Cancer Fundraiser

The Best Salon and Spa's annual Manicure and Merlot event drew an estimated 200 people.

The party was hopping Monday night at The Best Salon and Spa, which hosted its .

Every space in the salon was accounted for as clients received services and community members flowed in to sip wine, sample food from local restaurants, shop and enter a raffle that boasts a wide range of high-value prizes.

Proceeds from the event, thrown annually by a team of women dedicated to fighting cancer, are earmarked for the American Cancer Society.

Salon owner Marilyn Wagner, a member of the team, said 100 appointments were made for manicures, pedicures, facials and massages, while an estimated 100 additional people came to support the effort.

Raffle prizes were donated by such businesses as , The Ram and ; donations have been sorted into prize packages, most of which are valued at more than $200, Wagner said.

The fundraiser also gained the support of , , , and , which donated the food that was offered at no cost to event-goers.

“We had quite a feast tonight,” Wagner said.

Previous Manicure and Merlot events have raised as much as $5,000 for charity. Wagner said she expects strong results from this year’s effort, which continues with the sale of raffle tickets. The drawing is scheduled for March 4.

Event proceeds will benefit the Lady Lifesavers team in the American Cancer Society’s March 25 Shamrock Shuffle.

While the date is quickly approaching, Wagner said the walk is just the beginning of her fundraising efforts. She’s planning a mother-daughter brunch and fashion show in May, and said she and her teammates will likely participate in additional American Cancer Society walks in the summer and fall.

And, even as supporters brushed past her during Monday night’s event, Wagner was already thinking ahead to her 2013 fundraiser. She said she’d like to move Manicure and Merlot to October in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

What is the driving force behind this seemingly tireless woman?

“I think receiving that award from Buffalo Grove spurred me on,” said Wagner, who was honored in November with the ’s Heart of Buffalo Grove . 

“I’ve always been motivated, but no one ever noticed before. I appreciated it, and it changed me,” she said.

Acknowledging her ambitious fundraising plans for the coming months, she said something else might need to change.

“I might have to retire from the salon and just plan parties,” she said.


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