Generosity of local business

PLATTSBURGH - Though they didn't get to the final round of a national contest recognizing the good deeds of small businesses, the owners of Tangles Hair Salon are still winners in Wanda McIntyre's book.

The Saranac woman nominated businessowners Bob Whittington and Jon Gerry for "Shine A Light," a contest sponsored by American Express and NBC Universal. The contest, which has been narrowed down to the top three nominations, was what McIntyre thought would be the perfect way to honor the commitment the two men have to their customers.

"There's so much competition out there, even though they didn't win it was nice to get the story out there about how nice they are and how they help people," she said.

McIntyre speaks from personal experience. The single mother of two first met Whittington and Gerry after reading an article in the Clinton County Free Trader Today about how the two strive to help the less fortunate in their community through their business. McIntyre was interested in whether or not they could help her 13-year-old daughter, Breanna, make her own wish come true.

"All she wanted for Christmas was a ponytail," said McIntyre. "I could find a way to try to give her anything else, but I just didn't know how to give her that."

McIntyre's daughter suffers from ectodermal dysplasia, a genetic disorder which can result in the inability to properly grow hair, fingernails and toenails and have severe skin irritations, among other symptoms. The condition is one that has mainly manifested in poor hair growth with Breanna, said her mother, who also lives with ectodermal dysplasia.

When McIntyre contacted Tangles, without hesitation, Whittington began looking into getting hair extensions for Breanna.

"I didn't see [Breanna] at first because I didn't have Wanda bring her in, but she had very little hair, just a little bit at the top," Whittington. "So, I had to do some research to see how I could attach it to the scalp."

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