News > News > Wella Professionals Hairdressers at Heart Charity Challenge $10,000 Grand Prize Awarded!
Last updated: September 14, 2017

Wella Professionals Hairdressers at Heart Charity Challenge $10,000 Grand Prize Awarded!

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Wella Professionals is happy to announce Kelly Henning from Boonville, IL as the Hairdressers At Heart™ Charity Challenge Grand Prize Winner. She receives the $10,000 award for her compelling dedication to community outreach programs that reached more than 17,000 patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments this year.


The nonprofit, grassroots organization was launched after the passing of one of Henning’s long-time clients, Karen. Karen’s family quickly jumped into action with Henning to organize a group of dedicated volunteers who provide companionship to cancer patients while they are in the treatment room receiving chemotherapy. Chemo Buddies also provides care items such as healthy snacks and fruit, caps and hats, blankets, and various games and books.


Henning says, “We are here because we believe that no one should ever have to go through chemotherapy alone.” She explains, “I was inspired to take action by a beloved client who passed away after a long fought battle with cancer. While going through treatments, she was heartbroken and shocked as to how many people go through it alone. Our goal is to make the process a more comfortable and life-giving experience physically, mentally and spiritually. This is a game changer for the organization that relies solely on day to day donations.”


“I’m so proud to be able to present this award to Kelly on behalf of Wella,” says Michele Long, Wella Professionals Regional Business Manager. “Her outstanding efforts in rallying her salon and community to vote for her entry in the Charity Challenge were second to none. Our program was designed to empower passionate individuals to make a bigger impact lives and to raise awareness about important causes such as Chemo Buddies.”


In addition to the $10,000 Grand Prize, Wella Professionals will award 19 other Charity Challenge finalists a total of $43,000 in Charity Challenge awards this year. The other winning entries are (listed by award level and in alphabetical order):


Two (2) First Prizes of USD $5,000:
– Beate Assmuth-Ong for Beauty to the Rescue, Mane Attraction Salon, Phoenix, AZ
– Brenda Laufersweiler for Leader Dog, Exclusive Hair By Brenda, Fort Dodge, IA.

• Four (4) Second Prizes of USD $2,500:
– Anthony Capozzi for America’s Vet Dogs, Capozzi & Co. Salon, Sayville, NY
– Josée Desnoyers for Maison Pallia Vie De La Rivière Nord, Salon de Beautè Chez Francoise, Prevots, QC
–  Leslie Linder for Because of Mandy, Relax Day Spa and Salon, Menominee, MI
– Karla Waldron for Mondays at Racine; Racine Salon & Spa; Islip, NY.


Thirteen (13) Third Prizes of USD $1,000:
Julie Adams for Carestream, Las Vegas, NV
– Johnny Bui for JB Heart to Heart Foundation, JB Salon, Langley, BC
– Lorrene Conino for The Jesse Brown VA Center for Women Veterans, Salon Lorrene, Palatine, IL
– James Corbett for Hair2Help, James Corbett Studio, New York, NY
– Albert Cortez for Citrus Valley Hospice, Kut Haus Salon, Covina, CA
– Laura Davidson for Memphis Child Advocacy Center, Ella David Salon, Germantown, TN
– Terry Green for Billy Travis, Bombshell Salon, Chambersburg, PA
– Denise Kooiker for School Supply Santa, S&S Salon and Spa, Byron Center, MI
– Lorien Meillon for The Mary Magdalene Project, Ken Paves Salon, West Hollywood, CA – Michael Muia for Forty in Forty, Michael’s Hair Design & Day Spa, Thunder Bay, ON
– Brianna Sherman for Got Your Back San Diego, Studio 78, Oceanside, CA
– Erin Spielmaker for Casa De Amparo, San Marcos, CA
– Marisa Wilson for YAYA Girls, Beneath the Surface Salon, York, PA


Wella’s Hairdressers at Heart™ Charity Challenge is part of Wella’s Hairdressers at Heart program, which provides lifetime career support at four critical stages of a hairdresser’s career: student, new talent, working hairdresser and salon owner. Aimed to help hairdressers and salon owners amplify their contributions to charity within their local communities, the competition garnered hundreds of entries from across North America. Participants submitted videos and essays that revealed their passion and actionable efforts towards causes such as heart disease research, domestic abuse shelters and autism awareness. Finalists were chosen by a combination of online public voting and a judging panel of industry experts.


The next Hairdressers at Heart™ Charity Challenge will commence in the spring of 2015. For more information and updates, please visit