Bagels, bracelets and purple hair extensions are just some of the wares local businesses are using to help to support Bloomfield's "Relay for Life," an event to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
Leo Chalet, the owner of Bloomfield Bagels at 404 Broad Street, has been selling purple bagels since Monday as a lead up to the Sept. 23 and 24 American Cancer Society event at Bloomfield High School.
Chalet said he's made about 36 bagels per day, selling them each for 95 cents. All of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society, along with a $400 donation.
Chalet said he's participating in honor of his father, Edward Chalet, who beat non-Hodgkin Lymphoma through chemotherapy and radiation; the elder Chalet has been in remission since February 2009.
The best part, Chalet said, is giving back to the community and hopefully finding a cure for cancer.
Over in Montclair, Studio D Hair Design and Skin Care at 111 Watchung Avenue has been contributing to cancer research with purple "hope" bracelets, purple hair extensions and paper suns and moons.
All of the proceeds from the $10 hair extensions, $3 bracelets and the paper decorations, which start at $1, will be given to the American Cancer Society, said Danielle Bizarro, the studio manager and a hair dresser.
So far, the salon has raised about $600 from the hair extensions and donations in the shop. Another $350 came from Bloomfield High School on Friday, when visiting students got hair extensions, Bizarro said.
The business ultimately hopes to raise $1,500 for the American Cancer Society, said Susan DiGangi, who co-owns the salon with Danine Cutrona. Several salon workers plan to participate in the relay and provide hair extensions and buzz cuts at the event.
DiGangi and Bizarro said they were participating in the Relay for Life because they had relatives who died from breast and lung cancer.
Bizarro added that she likes the American Cancer Society's theme motto: it's a better world with more birthdays.
"It's a good cause and a good team-building experience for all of us to do," Bizarro said about the Relay for Life. "It's a good thing to do together."
Other local businesses helping out for the Relay for Life include the Bloomfield IHOP on 1129 Broad Street and Midnight DJ Productions of Belleville, which will provide music and activities throughout the relay, said Deirdre McGuinness, senior director of special events for the American Cancer Society's Metro New Jersey Region.
Today, Patch was informed via email that the IHOP has pledged to donate a portion of its proceeds to the cancer research fundraiser. Students from Demarest Elementary School went to the restaurant to contribute to its fundraising efforts, according to Principal Mary Todaro. The elementary school has two teams participating in the upcoming event.
As of Tuesday, a total of 422 people in 30 teams will participate in the event, according to the Relay for Life website. The volunteers have raised $36,296.
"We're shooting for the stars and trying for $75,000," McGuiness said about the overall fund-raising goal for the Relay for Life.
The Bloomfield Relay for Life event will take place at Bloomfield High School and start at 7 p.m. Sept. 23rd with a survivor's lap, followed by a remembrance lighting ceremony at 9 p.m. and relay at 10:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org/bloomfieldNJ