So when there’s a chance to help the community that has supported her Renovation Hair Salon for 16 years, she’s eager to step up.
“Anyone who’s been around OB for a long time is eager to help out,” said Pitera, a mother of five kids — and three dogs.
And that’s why she’s participating in the 33rd annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival for the 16th time, once again donating all her proceeds from the event to local causes.
This year, she will split the money between the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association’s Fourth of July fireworks show and Hedy’s Cause, which helps support a young San Diego grandmother who’s fighting brain cancer.
In past years, Pitera has supported the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG organization and the Red Cross tsunami fund.
She and about seven other hairdressers, including volunteers from the California Hair Design Academy, will wield scissors and clippers this year at her booth on Newport Avenue near Hodad’s.
The suggested donation for a haircut is $10.
Pitera said she anticipates cutting and styling hair for up to 200 people. Fundraising at the event, she said, not only helps the community, but her own business as well. Over the years, her participation in local activities has brought many loyal customers to her salon across from the beach, above Nick’s at the Pier restaurant.
Her other volunteer work includes serving as her daughter’s class librarian at St. Columba School and joining Dog Beach cleanups, as well as helping at the Surfrider Foundation beach cleanups and Paddle for Clean Water event.
She and her staff have participated in an AIDS walk and a Red Cross Cut-a-thon — haircuts on the sand — to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims. Her children, too, have joined in at events like tree planting along Cable Street and participating in the annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade, where they helped decorate a vintage rental car last year.
“I believe you get out of life what you put into it,” Pitera said. “I’ve been blessed with a healthy family, a great business, an awesome community and the San Diego sunshine.”
Renovation Hair Salon, 5083 Santa Monica Ave., second floor, (619) 223-2887.