Holly's Cupcake Bouquet 501(c)(3) is a nonprofit organization that continues Holly Dunwoody's heartfelt legacy of providing wigs and initial haircuts, free of cost, to women going through cancer treatment that cannot afford them. A cancer diagnosis can be financially devastating and the additional cost of a wig and haircut can be out of reach for many.
In Holly's own words: "During cancer treatment, I began losing my hair but felt blessed because I was a salon owner and I could have my head shaved in the privacy of my salon. It was one of the most emotional events in my life. Even though I was fighting for my life, I felt I was losing myself. I was losing my identity. I couldn't work because I was in and out of the hospital. When I looked into the mirror I didn't recognize who was looking back at me. I felt ugly and that I had lost my femininity. I felt alien and manly. It changed when I put on my wig. That is when I said "There You Are!" That is when I vowed to help other women who felt like me."
Holly began The Wig Challenge to help as many women as she could. She challenged salons to shave heads at no charge. She reached out to as many people as she could through YouTube, Facebook and at her salon, asking that they donate a wig or to take someone they knew going through treatment and buy them a wig. Holly accepted new or "gently used" wigs at her salon, promising to get the wigs to women that needed them. She asked for donations of only a dollar towards the purchase of a wig. When she had enough money, she would purchase a wig. Every single penny raised through these dollar donations went towards purchasing a wig.
On May 19, 2017, my sister Holly lost her life to breast cancer.
Holly always purchased flowers for herself on her birthday. My daughter brought home beautiful raspberry colored flowers in July (on what would have been Holly's 55th birthday) and together with hydrangea from my backyard, we created a beautiful arrangement. Campers at The Art of Cake Studio Summer Camp made Cupcake Bouquets in those colors that week. The reaction from parents, Facebook and friends was overwhelming. It occurred to me that I could sell these bouquets to raise money and continue the work Holly had begun. Holly's Cupcake Bouquet 501(c)(3) was created.
Each year $5,000 plus 10% of all sales from The Art of Cake Studio and Cupcake Bouquets are donated to Holly's Cupcake Bouquet 501(c)(3). In February of this year, we donated $5,000 to Lolly's Locks, a national nonprofit devoted to providing cancer patients in need with high-quality wigs.
We are now working locally with Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, New Jersey and will be donating up to $5,000 in 2018 to provide wigs to their cancer patients in need of assistance. Suzanne's Hair & Colour Room in Oradell, NJ is hosting a Cut-A-Thon and Hair Donation event on Sunday, October 7, 2018. We are also working with Longevity Women's Health Boutique in Englewood, New Jersey and several other wig salons. Longevity offers wigs and many of the other necessary items a patient going through cancer treatment might need, as well as the knowledge necessary to help them understand what health insurance covers in this area. Pure Hair Studio of River Vale, New Jersey has generously offered to provide these patients, in the privacy of their salon, the ability to have their heads shaved and their wig trimmed at no cost.
Currently all of the funds donated to Holly's Cupcake Bouquet have come from the sale of Cupcake Bouquets or from The Art of Cake Studio. Outside donations are now being welcomed. Donate a dollar or any amount. Every penny will go directly towards purchasing a wig. Donations can be dropped off at the studio or mailed. Checks should be made payable to: Holly's Cupcake Bouquet 501(c)(3), c/o The Art of Cake Studio, 669-G Westwood Avenue, River Vale, NJ 07675.
"There You Are!" Holly E. Dunwoody - 1962-2017