MDJ Features Editor
On Sunday, Three-13 Salon, Spa & Boutique will have its third annual Angels of Life Hair & Fashion Show at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Inspired by the experience of managing partner of the salon, Lester E. Crowell Jr., a two-time heart transplant recipient, the event benefits the Georgia Transplant Foundation.
Georgia Transplant Foundation provides financial and educational assistance to those undergoing or waiting for a transplant.
The evening begins at 5 p.m. with VIP and Halo VIP Cocktail Hour followed by general admission at 6 p.m. and includes silent and live auctions, inspiring survivor stories, hair and fashion show and more. Eighty-five employees of Three-13 are donating their services for hair and makeup for the 39 models. The show features clothes from Fab’rik, Pixie’s Fashion Closet, CC’s of Rome and Fit for a Queen.
“We call the event Angels of Life because the people who donate their organs are angels. They’re giving life,” said Crowell, who has a genetic heart problem.
At age 13, Crowell was diagnosed with a heart murmur. At age 40, he suffered congestive heart failure. On April 15, 2000, at age 43, he received his first heart transplant after waiting five days on the transplant list.
Eight-and-a-half years later, Crowell developed chronic rejection, typical of transplant recipients. After suffering a small heart attack December 2009, he received his second heart transplant one year later.
“As I was laying there recovering from my second heart transplant, I thought I should do something. I knew there were some people who were not as fortunate as me. I was so fortunate to get two heart transplants. I knew there were people less fortunate,” Crowell said.
Having been involved in other charitable benefits, Crowell made it his mission to do something for others struggling with transplants. He consulted with Dr. David Vega, his transplant surgeon who told him about Georgia Transplant Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit founded in 1992 by Tommy Smith, a kidney transplant recipient.
“I soon found out what the GTF was all about, and it soon became special,” he said.
Crowell started Angels of Life Hair & Fashion Show in 2011 to help families struggling with transplant expenses. The signature event raised $31,313.13. In 2012, the second event raised $33,313.13. “We’re trying to raise $49,000 this year because then we will have donated $113,000 in three years,” Lester said.
The third event is particularly special because it will be held on Oct. 13, Crowell’s birthday.
“It’s our third annual event,” he said. “I’ve had three hearts in my body. It’s 2013. I’ve had a heart transplant for 13 years. All those numbers made it special, so we decided to have the event on my birthday.
“We’re just trying to raise awareness. It’s really a fun night. It’s not just a hair and fashion show. It’s got a story to it,” Crowell said.
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.
Tickets and sponsorships are available at three-13.com. The salon is at 2663 Canton Road, Marietta.