This month, her business -- Melissa & Co. Salon, 1229 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cartersville -- is hosting two events, one of which is a Cut-A-Thon for Autism Aug. 27. As a member of The Association of Stylists & Barbers, Porter's salon is serving as a host site for the benefit, which will raise money for Autism Society of America's Greater Georgia Chapter.
"On Aug. 27 from 7 p.m. to midnight, we'll be doing solely haircuts for 50 percent off and all of the proceeds will go to the autism organization. Elaine [Lord] and her organization is so great," Porter said about TASB. "This is an organization for hairdressers that feel passionate about nonprofit organizations. And we like to get together and [bring] awareness throughout the community in different things that we do, and this is one of the things that we feel passionate about.
"All of Melissa & Co. will be participating, all of my stylists, plus we have [another] stylist that is going to join us," she said, referring to Jeanette Williams. "It's really rewarding ... to give back to the community, because we've had some clients [who are autistic]. You don't realize how many people it does affect."
Along with Melissa & Co. Salon, Baxter Studio II -- 125 W. Main St. in Cartersville -- also will serve as a host site for the Cut-A-Thon, with some of the other benefit's locations located in Decatur, Kennesaw, Marietta and Woodstock. On Aug. 27, Baxter Studio II will offer 50 percent off haircuts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the proceeds going toward Autism Society of America's Greater Georgia Chapter. While the Cut-A-Thon is set for Aug. 27 and 28, host salons will be able to select the hours they will participate.
"The association, what we do is several stylists and barbers come together from all over the community, and we give back to the community," said Elaine Lord, founder of TASB. "So this Cut-A-Thon was brought to us from a salon in Mableton.
"The Cut-A-Thon for Autism is going to be a 24-hour event where stylists and barbers from all over come to these hosting salons ... The goal for the association is to bring stylists and barbers together from all over, because when we come together, we can be stronger and more successful as a team, rather than individual stylists and barbers."
In addition to the Cut-A-Thon, Porter and Melissa & Co. Salon also are organizing a High Heel Parade, which is a fundraiser for Bartow County's Relay for Life event. Entry costs for the Aug. 20 benefit will be $10 per person and $100 for a team of 10 or more. Children 10 and younger can walk in the parade free of charge. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at 135 W. Cherokee Ave., with the parade departing at 10 a.m. Led by grand marshals, Beth Wesley and Alyssa Leonard, the participants will start at the corner of North Bartow Street and Main Street, then travel east on Main Street to Public Square.
Those interested are encouraged to wear high heels in the color that represents the cancer they are passionate about eliminating. Some of the colors and the cancers they symbolize are pink for breast, light blue for prostate, teal for ovarian and uterine, yellow for liver, gold for childhood, gray for brain, green for kidney, dark blue for colon, purple for pancreatic, black for melanoma, orange for leukemia, periwinkle for stomach, white for lung, lime green for lymphoma and lavender for general cancer awareness.
"I just feel like it's so important as a business owner in the community, and I just have a real passion to help people," Porter said. "I really like to do it. I like to give back and I like for my employees to [also]. They all have the same heart as I do, wanting to give back. If you're going to work at Melissa & Co., that's one of the things you've got to have [is] a charitable heart, because that's what we like to do.
"As far as Relay, I've been involved with Relay -- I've been in business for 12 years -- so [for] 12 years. I'm a cancer survivor now. I've been in remission [from appendix cancer] for two years. It means a lot to me [to support this cause]."
For more information on the Cut-A-Thon, call Melissa & Co. at 770-386-2252 or Baxter Studio II at 770-386-2466. Stylists who want to participate, need to visit www.recognitionwithstyle.com to join existing host sites.