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Fight Like a Girl

taking the gloves off in the battle of their lives

(page 5 of 5)




OMAHA’S non-profit landscape is full of “origin” stories, chronicles of the who, what, when and where that often go on to later define a legacy. Some of the most poignant tales are the ones kindled by what were seemingly the smallest of sparks.

THE GENESIS OF the Ribbon Foundation is such a story, one that is a touching reminder of what can happen when the overwhelming collides with the underwhelming.

“That’s what friends do,” One Drake Place owner Troy Crawford said with an underwhelming, matter-of-fact shrug in describing the non-profit launched by the popular salon and spa. “This was something borne of necessity. Our friend needed help and that’s just what friends do.”

JAN MOREDICK, who had known Crawford since he took his first chair after beauty school, was a prized recruit when the stylist opened his own business 10 years ago. But things became overwhelming when she was diagnosed with breast cancer a mere four months after joining her friend and colleague in the space that is as soothing as it is sleek and as earthy as it is eclectic.

“The foundation saved my life,” Moredick said above the clip-clip-here, snip-snip-there soundtrack that plays in any salon. “It saved my home. It saved my family. Now it has gone on to help so many others just like me.”

The quote above is perhaps a bit off kilter. There was, of course, no “foundation” at the time of her greatest need. There was only a generous outpouring of loving support and other assistance from a circle of friends whose actions were later formalized into what became known as the Ribbon Foundation.

THE EARLY YEARS of the group found them making natural connections that Crawford described as a perfect fit for a salon. Outfitting cancer survivors with wigs soon gave way to a broadening, connect-thedots list of initiatives that now span across town to the Methodist Hospital oncology unit. That’s where you’ll find the Ribbon Foundation Room, an effort sponsored by the team that began with one simple story.

The non-profit is as also known for such crowd-pleasing fundraisers as its parking lot pancake feeds before Nebraska football games and Tinis and Tunes, the shaken-notstirred soirees that feature food, music and dancing.

Moredick’s favorite? “That’s easy,” she beamed. “I love our spa nights where stylists, cosmetologists, nails, massage people, just everybody here, gives of their time. We feel women deserve to have fun and there’s nothing better than being pampered while surrounded by supportive friends, especially when you are going through tough times. It gives them – and all of us here at the salon – something to look forward to. It’s also great therapy for me because I’ve been there. I know what they’re going through. I am them.”

TEN YEARS AFTER the overwhelming met the underwhelming amid a clippings-strewn salon, the Ribbon Foundation has gone on to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support women battling cancer.

Crawford is proud of the number, but he doesn’t measure success in dollars. “Women can feel so alone when they go through this,” he said, “but you’re ever alone when you are here at One Drake Place.”

-end- metroMAGAZINE





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