CAPE CORAL, Fla. — For 22 hours, a Cape Coral hair salon is going a cut above.
The salon- called ‘Somewhere on 47th Terrace'- is committed to bringing awareness to the 22 service members who die by suicide every day.
“Hopefully the Cut-A-Thon, as we get older and older, it becomes shorter and shorter," says Bob King, Marine veteran & Owner of Somewhere on 47th Terrace. "But until that number reaches zero, we’ll be out here doing what we do.”
For Bob King, being a Marine veteran isn’t just a title but a way of life.
"As veterans, it doesn’t matter if you see combat or you don’t- you see things that you shouldn’t as a young person," said King. "It’s sometimes things that you can’t take away and it’s hard to talk about because we’re very private people. There’s a small percentage of the population that actually serves their country. So when we came here to Cape Coral, we met a bunch of veterans and the city is very good to us so we wanted to give back to the city.”
This year’s Cut-A-Thon has grown, adding more stylists and barbers to the team. One of them is Nick Romero.
"Coming out here to see Bob and the team- I mean, you can’t ask for anything better.”
A marine veteran himself, Romero operates his own barbershop in San Diego. He also works as an instructor at the Paul Mitchell Beauty School in Fort Myers. But being in Cape Coral for the Cut-A-Thon holds a special meaning.
"We have a lot of active duty and veterans, military, Navy and Marines but to come over here and see this- Cape Coral is a huge veteran community- I love it so much," said Romero. "A lot of retirees, a lot of people out here so to be able to bring this awareness out to the community it means a lot. Doing these haircuts- I’m going to stay here for 22 hours, 23 or 24, I’m going to be out here all day.”
His first client of the day just so happened to be another Marine vet, TJ LaPlant from Boston.
“I’m feeling great!" said LaPlant. "I think Nick’s done a great job with me, made me look way better than when I showed up. It looks fantastic. Nick did a great job, I’m happy to have it, I’m happy to support the event and help bob with this great charity. We’ll be here all night.”
But no matter the cut, fade, or style… it’s all about stepping up and giving back to those who give so much to our country.
"My problems are nothing compared to what these men and women go through so this is the least we can do," said King. "If we can raise awareness and bring back some help to these veterans, we’re more than happy to do so.”
Proceeds from this year's Cut-A-Thon will be going toward the Veterans Crisis Center in Fort Myers, the Gavin D. Lux Memorial Fund as well as scholarships with Ida Baker High School.