Barbers cut hair for free to show concern for community

March 02, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Upset by the recent shooting death of 3-year-old James Smith III, employees of the Sharper Edge in Northwest Baltimore yesterday offered free haircuts to show they care about the community they serve.

In lieu of paying the $12 to $15 a haircut would normally cost, customers were asked to make a $3 donation to the Park-Reist Corridor Coalition Inc. The coalition is a community group that organizes neighborhood improvement projects and provides financial support to area churches.

"I think it's a great idea -- a win-win situation for everyone," said Matt West, 30. "The customers get a break and the barbershop raises funds for a worthwhile cause."

West, a weekly customer at the salon, said he went to the Sharper Edge on Reisterstown Road yesterday because his barber told him of the daylong fund-raiser in memory of James. The toddler was fatally wounded when two men opened fire in Fresh Cuttz, a West Baltimore barbershop, on Jan. 2.

For weeks, barbers at the Sharper Edge have been handing out fliers to promote the "Day of Appreciation."

The grass-roots advertising campaign paid off. More than 100 people got haircuts at the Sharper Edge yesterday, said receptionist Angie McClary. On most Saturdays, the shop serves about 75 people, she said.

"We just wanted to give something back to the community," said Marc Munford, 29, one of 10 barbers who participated in the fund-raiser. "People need to know that there are businesses in Baltimore who care, who do not condone drugs or violence."

Pub Date: 3/02/97

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