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50 States, 50 Days, 50 Cuts, To Help Shelters

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A Kansas man is traveling all 50 states in 50 days. He also has a goal of doing 50 haircuts at each stop.

Patrick Lomantini has taken a little over a month of his time, for the past three years, to help our furry friends. Since he started his fundraiser, 'Bark Aid,' he's raised over $200,000. Every single penny of that has gone to local animal shelters.

“A few years ago when I became a hair stylist, I wanted to make a difference,” said Lomantini. “And I wanted to be different than any other hair stylist in the world.”

So with that mindset Lomantini began cutting his way across America. The Kansas native was in Sioux Falls Monday at Dimensions Salon on South Sertoma Avenue.
“I couldn’t do what the shelter people do, I'd lose it,” Lomantini said. “They perform amazing functions at their humane societies. But I can do hair, and that's my way of bringing attention to what they do.”

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lomantini and his assistant Zack cut, cut, and cut some more. Since Lomantini began 'Bark Aid’ three years ago, he's done more than 6,000 haircuts across the country. On Monday, he had plenty more to do. The whole tour is self-funded. So Lomantini said he relies on the generosity of those who come out to support the cause.

“We just survive off of the tip jar,” Lomantini pointed out.
All of the money raised from the cuts is going to the Brookings Humane Society.
“This is amazing. We rely on donations and fundraisers, so something like this is a huge help,” said Maia Moore, director of the Brookings Humane Society.

Moore said to run the animal shelter it costs around $15,000 a month.

“Right now we have one turtle, right around 50 cats, and about 30 dogs,” Moore said.

And of course a few of them paid a visit to the salon.

Lomantini said his hands get sore, and cutting for 7 hours for 50 days straight is a bit exhausting. But he said helping a little guy like Turtle makes it all worth it.

“We are just two guys cutting hair for animals,” Lomantini said. “But it has taken on a whole new dimension.”

At Monday’s event Lomantini surpassed his goal of 50 cuts and did 63. Over $2,200 was raised for the Brookings Humane Society. 

If you didn't make it Monday, you can mark for calendars for next year.  Lomantini will be back at Dimensions Salon next Labor Day to raise money for another local shelter.

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