The Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom was filled to socially distanced capacity as Paul Mitchell School leaders, Future Professionals, charity representatives, and guests celebrated the results of the Paul Mitchell School network’s 18th annual FUNraising campaign and 20-year anniversary.
“At a time when most people are understandably focused on their own struggles and challenges, I’ve never been prouder of our future professionals and school leaders for doing all they can to raise money and awareness for others in need,” said Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh.
Each year, participating Future Professionals from the 100+ Paul Mitchell cosmetology and barbering schools voluntarily raise money for a variety of national and local charities. After a year and a half of COVID-related school closures and few opportunities to connect and serve others, they jumped at the chance to give in 2021. From August 1 to October 12, the annual FUNraising campaign raised over $1.3 million, bringing the Paul Mitchell School network’s 18-year total to over $23 million. The 2021 campaign benefited dozens of local nonprofits as well as the Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, which donated on the Paul Mitchell School network’s behalf to Best Friends Animal Society, Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast), Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Food 4 Africa, Gary Sinise Foundation, Leeza’s Care Connection, No Limits, and Thirst Project.
2021 Gala Highlights
The International Ballroom’s iconic chandeliers and glittering stage provided the perfect backdrop for an event that felt like a family reunion – in formal attire. Co-hosted by Winn Claybaugh, Marie Osmond, and Leeza Gibbons, the event also celebrated and welcomed the 2020 and 2021 First 100 contest winners: the first 100 students and school team members who individually raised at least $3,000. The outpouring of support was so strong that this year’s contest acknowledged 110 winners. Thanks to generous event sponsors who donated more than ever before, the First 110 winners received a ticket to the Gala, accommodations at the Beverly Hilton, and a day of hands-on education with Redken Master Artist and celebrity stylist Ruth Roche, award-winning barber and cosmetologist Fern Andong, and award-winning film and television makeup artist Debra Dietrich.
No Gala is complete without entertainment, and this one featured two powerhouse vocalists. Ava Paige, a 17-year-old singer/songwriter from Nashville and the Children’s Miracle Hospital Network’s 2021 Tennessee Ambassador, sang an original song and shared her story about battling cancer. Later in the evening, Broadway and TV star Megan Hilty, known for playing Glinda in Wicked, Doralee in 9 to 5 the Musical, and Ivy Lynn in NBC’s musical drama Smash, brought the audience to their feet with her show-stopping performance.