Paul Mitchell Schools Raise $1.4M for Charity

July 3, 2019
Paul Mitchell Schools
General News, Giving Back

Mary Wilson of the Supremes Headlines Gala Celebration in Beverly Hills

After two months and thousands of creative “FUNraising” events, Paul Mitchell Schools announced the results of their 2019 campaign: they raised $1.4 million to benefit eight national charities and dozens of local nonprofits, bringing their 16-year total to over $21 million. Most important, the cost incurred in raising the $21 million has been less than 4%, an amazingly low amount compared to the national average of 25%.

“Our Paul Mitchell Schools have an unstoppable momentum of giving back; it’s in our DNA,”  says Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh. “This gives me lots of hope, because this is the legacy we pass on to our future professionals and team members.”

The grand total was announced at a glamorous Gala in Beverly Hills, attended by school leaders, celebrity guests, charity representatives, beauty bloggers and editors, and the First 100 contest winners—the first 100 students and school team members who individually raised at least $3,000.

Thanks to generous sponsors and school owners, the First 100 winners received a ticket to the Gala, a “meet and greet” photo op with celebrity guests, and a day of hands-on education with industry icon and celebrity stylist Nicholas French, salon owner Kelly Cardenas, and award-winning makeup artist Debra Dietrich.

They also joined Gala co-hosts Leeza Gibbons, Winn Claybaugh, and the charity representatives onstage at the end of the night to reveal the top 10 FUNraising schools and the 2019 total.

people at funraising gala

2019 Gala Highlights

The star-studded evening included special appearances by Mary Wilson of the Supremes and America’s Got Talent finalist Brian King Joseph, whose life was saved at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The audience also heard heartwarming messages from this year’s charity partners.

Paul Mitchell Cofounder and Chairman John Paul DeJoria acknowledged the schools’ longtime support for Food 4 Africa, an organization close to his heart. To date, the $1 million donated by Paul Mitchell Schools has provided more than 28 million meals for orphaned children in Africa. “On behalf of all the kids, thank you, thank you, thank you!” John Paul said.

Representing Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Director of Celebrity Relations and host of the Untold Miracles Podcast Kelli Davis told the audience, “I have witnessed miracle after miracle, thanks to individuals like you.” Sasha Bogosian, a 10-year-old fashion designer who has singlehandedly raised $38,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she attends art therapy classes for her cerebral palsy, said, “Thank you for helping kids like me,” and America’s Got Talent finalist Brian King Joseph added, “Being in and out of the hospital like a lot of these kids … the only place that taught me hope instead of despair was Children’s Hospital. [They]  showed me that I needed to have another dream and to continue to dream.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have raised over $1.475 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

people present at the gala

(L-R) Mary Wilson, Brian King Joseph, John Paul DeJoria, Kelli Davis, Sasha Bogosian

Representing No Limits, motivational speaker and deaf comedian Kathy Buckley introduced 16-year-old Josue Cerna, who said, “I remember when I was a little boy not wanting anyone to see that I didn’t have ears. Now I show them off. No Limits not only taught me to read, write, and speak, but taught me to believe in myself and know that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.” Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $900,000 to help No Limits teach under-served deaf children and their families the skills to succeed in school and life.

Actor Joe Mantegna and wounded military hero Cedric King have something in common: they both serve as ambassadors to the Gary Sinise Foundation. “One of the reasons I love this country is a night like tonight,” Joe said. “It just makes me proud to be an American because of people like yourselves and what you do for the Gary Sinise Foundation.” Cedric, whose customized smart home from the foundation meets his needs following the loss of both legs from an IED explosion, added, “The Gary Sinise Foundation provided not just a home but they also provided a community.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $855,000 to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Leeza Gibbons founded Leeza’s Care Connection to provide much-needed support to those who care for victims of Alzheimer’s Disease. “Because of your outrageously generous love and support, because of the way you care, we are able to care for those who look down a long dark hall without much of a prayer for a glimmer of light,” Leeza said. “Thank you for being that glimmer. Thank you for being a lifeline, a reason to believe that somebody cares for those who care.” Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $1.2 million to Leeza’s Care Connection.

people speaking at gala

(L-R) Kathy Buckley, Josue Cerna, Joe Mantegna, Cedric King, Leeza Gibbons

Thirst Project CEO and founder Seth Maxwell was joined by supporters Eden Sassoon and actor Steven R. McQueen. “Thank you for what you do and who you are,” Seth told the audience. “There are so many lives you’ve touched and, I promise you, they love you!” Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $500,000 to help Thirst Project provide safe, clean water to hundreds of thousands of people.

Cast CEO Kay Buck introduced Lyresha, a trafficking survivor and Paul Mitchell School graduate. “I would like to thank Cast and Paul Mitchell Schools for basically saving my life,” Lyresha said. “Now I am a professional hairstylist, and that’s all through your philanthropy, your donations, your charity, and your love.” Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $375,000 to Cast, along with several scholarships for Cast survivors.

people speaking at gala

(L-R) Eden Sassoon, Seth Maxwell, Steven R. McQueen, Lyresha, Kay Buck

Local Charities

In addition to supporting the eight national charities, many Paul Mitchell Schools raise money and provide hands-on support for local charities in their own communities. Funded largely by the Paul Mitchell Schools FUNraising campaigns, the Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation also provides funds for smaller organizations. The audience heard from four nonprofit representatives who spoke about the impact these contributions have made on their organizations: Dr. Daniel Amen, founder of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Foundation; Vanessa Abrego of Homeboy Industries; Paul Mitchell School Director Whitney Shaw, whose schools support Ronald McDonald House; and Paul Mitchell School owner Charles Riser, whose schools support Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County, MD.

people speaking at gala

(L-R) Dr. Daniel Amen, Vanessa Abrego, Whitney Shaw, Charles Riser

Carrying on a Legacy

Angus Mitchell and Eden Sassoon shared fond memories of their iconic fathers, the late Paul Mitchell and Vidal Sassoon, who built philanthropy into their companies and left a legacy for their families and the entire beauty industry. They spoke about their fathers’ passion for giving back and recognized the Advanced Academy Educators who follow their lead by raising $244,103 this year, by donating their time and talent to present advanced education classes at schools throughout the country.

Andrew Gomez Compassionate Service Award

The Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation was started 17 years ago, at Von Curtis Academy (now Paul Mitchell The School Provo), where a special Future Professional named Andrew Gomez had a magical way of knowing when someone was struggling, depressed, or needed a hug—maybe because Andrew struggled with mental illness and depression himself. Despite his meteoric rise to success, in February 2002, Andrew ended his struggle by taking his own life. Because so many people loved him and wanted to continue the gift he gave, his family, former instructors, and friends formed the Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation in his honor.

Each year, the Foundation recognizes people like Andrew who exemplify selfless, compassionate service and tireless dedication to their organizations and communities. This year’s Andrew Gomez Compassionate Service Awards went to Thirst Project founder Seth Maxwell, in recognition of his passion for making the world a better place, mentoring the next generation, and providing education and opportunities for others to make a difference, and to Cast CEO Kay Buck, who courageously uses her voice to bring attention to the unspeakable crimes of slavery and human trafficking.

people speaking at gala

(L-R) Eden Sassoon, Angus Mitchell, Seth Maxwell, Kay Buck

Our History of Giving

Giving back has always been a cornerstone of Paul Mitchell Schools. In addition to the annual FUNraising campaign, Future Professionals give back through their schools’ year-round partnerships with local organizations, including boys and girls clubs, animal shelters and rescue groups, nursing homes and senior centers, organizations that help people return to the workforce, women’s and homeless shelters, complimentary services for first responders and cancer survivors, and countless outreach programs.

Winn says, “People often ask why we promote FUNraising in our schools. We believe that service is the rent we pay for room on this earth, so it’s our job to make sure we provide opportunities for our students to give back. Our FUNraising campaign lets us give back to our communities, join together as a team for something important outside of work, and provide our students with opportunities to develop skills that will help them in their careers and in life.”

To learn how you can partner with your local Paul Mitchell School or join the FUNraising campaign, visit

About Paul Mitchell Schools

At Paul Mitchell Schools, we believe that education is an adventure and the learning experience needs to be fun and well rounded. Our courses focus on important technical skills and business knowledge with an emphasis on social and community responsibility. Our learning leaders are trained to draw out the artist in our students and prepare them to enter their chosen careers as community-conscious salon and spa professionals. Through our annual “FUNraising” campaign, we’ve raised and donated over $21 million in support of many charitable causes. We’ve built homes with Habitat for Humanity, fed thousands of African orphans, and supported the victims of AIDS, breast cancer, homelessness, abuse, and hundreds of other causes.

Established over 38 years ago, the Paul Mitchell network is nearly 100,000 salons strong and in 81 countries worldwide; every professional hairdresser knows the Paul Mitchell name. With the addition of more than 110 Paul Mitchell Schools, we’ve taken the world of cosmetology and barbering education by storm! Visit to learn more.

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About the 2019 Charities

Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation was founded to honor a successful Paul Mitchell School graduate whose struggle against mental illness ended tragically in suicide. The foundation helps cosmetology students, graduates, and cosmetology-related enterprises. Funds have provided educational opportunities, assistance after natural disasters (through our support of the PBA Disaster Relief Fund), and support in the fights against breast cancer, domestic violence, and other destroyers of self-esteem.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the United States and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

Cast (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) aims to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations.

Food 4 Africa is committed to supplying at least one vitamin- and mineral-enriched meal each day to the children of Southern Africa, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic has left more than 11 million children orphaned. There are currently 3.9 million orphans in South Africa. Of these, approximately 2 million have been orphaned as a direct result of AIDS, and countless others have been orphaned as an indirect result.

Whether building specially adapted smart homes for wounded heroes, lifting spirits at home and abroad with an explosive live concert, or bringing WWII veterans to the museum built in their honor, the Gary Sinise Foundation serves America’s heroes and their loved ones 365 days a year.

Leeza’s Care Connection is the place to go to answer the question, “Now what?” when someone you love has a chronic illness or disease. Life doesn’t always come with a happily ever after ending, but Leeza’s Care Connection offers free services and programs to help you through it when it feels all hope is lost. Leeza Gibbons started this service to honor her mom, who died of Alzheimer’s.

No Limits is the only family-centered program in the world that teaches low-income deaf children (ages 3–­18) the skills to succeed in school and in life through its national theater program and afterschool educational centers that enhance their confidence and communication skills while providing the leadership and academic skills to be college ready. No Limits educates parents to be advocates for their deaf children and shows that they have the potential to go farther than they can imagine.

Thirst Project is the world’s largest youth water organization. In just 10 years, Thirst Project has mobilized more than 600,000 students and young people who funded over 2,900 water projects in 13 countries, giving more than 390,000 people access to safe, clean drinking water for life.

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