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Port Orchard spa picks 20 to be queen for day

Stylist Barbie Swainson touches up her daughter Jasmine’s hair in anticipation of Sunday’s spa event at the Brass Ring in Port Orchard - Charlie Bermant/Staff Photo
Stylist Barbie Swainson touches up her daughter Jasmine’s hair in anticipation of Sunday’s spa event at the Brass Ring in Port Orchard
— image credit: Charlie Bermant/Staff Photo

Earlier this year, the staff at the Brass Ring in Port Orchard decided to single out one local person for special treatment, offering them a free trip to the spa to offset hard economic and personal times.

The staff went to the community for nominations, asking for short essays about why a certain person deserved the honor.

After collecting 20 responses, they found they could not make a decision, since all were equally deserving.

“We were reading these letters and they all brought tears to our eyes,” said owner Don Ryan. “We couldn’t pick just one, so we decided to include them all.”

Some survived cancer, while others couldn’t meet expenses.

One woman nominated her mother, who helped her deal with the death of her two children. After reading that particular note, the staff determined that both the woman and her mother were deserving.

On Sunday, the winners and their nominators will arrive at the salon to receive four hours of treatment — haircuts, manicures, pedicures, massages and anything else on the menu.

Ryan will be there, serving sparkling cider and contributing to the atmosphere.

“We want to lift the spirits of people who never have time for themselves,” said Barbie Swainson, who manages the facility. “A lot of them are single moms who are always providing for others. They never get pampered, so we want to make them feel special.”

While this particular benefit won’t fight hunger or stop disease, there is an incremental advantage: If people feel more attractive, they will be better equipped to deal with life’s daily setbacks.  

The Brass Ring, located near the top of Mile Hill Drive, has been open for 20 years. Local businessman Ryan, who bought the facility three years ago, runs it as a contract shop, leasing space out to stylists who run their own business.

Ryan leases to 16 stylists and has one regular employee. All of them have signed on to donate their time to the cause. There is no way to quantify the contribution, but a stylist can earn $100 an hour.

By this yardstick, 17 people volunteering four hours each adds up to a significant amount.

“There are a lot of people who have had tough times recently,” he said. “This is a way to give back to the community.”

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