Twenty-eight years ago, Janelle Roring was looking for a hair stylist. She not only found one in Cindy Persell, but she also found a close friend.
“[Cindy] is such a wonderful, genuine, kind, giving person,” Roring said. “I don’t know anyone else quite like her.”
The two friends supported each other as they both dealt with cancer diagnoses in previous years. Then in early November Persell was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The cancer has spread and doctors have given her a life expectancy of two to six months, Roring said.
Persell has owned Persell's Hair Team, a hair salon in Shakopee, for 25 years. She is married to Steve Persell and the couple has a 16-year-old daughter named Sadie.
When Roring heard that the family wanted to do a fundraiser to help with financial costs, she quickly offered to organize it. She has experience organizing fundraisers, but three weeks to plan and execute one is a challenge for anyone. The response from the Shakopee-area community has made it easier to do.
“It’s absolutely amazing how many people have offered to help. [Cindy] is just so loving that everyone wants to give back to her… she’s always giving to all of us.”
The fundraiser will include silent and live auctions, and the goal is to raise $15,000. Roring had already received donations of 256 auction items and services. She anticipated receiving more for a total of at least 300 items and services.
Included among the auction items, Roring said, are vacation packages to Duluth, cabin rentals, autographed football helmets of popular sports players, and a limo tour of popular St. Paul spots for gangsters in the 1930s.
Roring named a wide variety of other items including collectibles, several holiday themed baskets, beauty and spa products and services, house wares, original art, and handcrafted afghans, baby blankets and quilts.
Donated wine will make up a wine wall where attendees can purchase a cork and then find out which wine matches the cork. There will also be a balloon pop which consists of balloons with gift certificates in them.
While the raising of funds to assist the Persell family is important, Roring said that she has one main wish: to see the community support the family by showing up for the benefit.
Said Roring, “It would show her husband, and especially her daughter, how much it matters the way you live your life.”
Cindy Persell hopes to attend at least a portion of the event, Roring added.
Roring will accept donations for the auction through Saturday, Dec. 8 as long as she receives the description and value of the item ahead of time. Donations can be dropped off at Persell’s Hair Team or at Roring’s home, located at 5475 West 133rd Street in Savage. Roring said that some people have even volunteered to pick up items, if needed.
The fundraiser is on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be located at the Shakopee VFW Post 4046, 1201 Third Avenue East in Shakopee. Tickets are $10 for adults for entrance and food. Kids 10 and under are free.