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Standing up to Bullying

Hairstylist fashions fundraiser to benefit It Gets Better organization

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Lenny Strand still carries the scars from years of bullying as a teenager in his hometown in Southern Minnesota.

The renowned Beverly Hills hairstylist is hosting The Bash to Banish Bullying, a fundraiser to benefit the It Gets Better organization, March 16-17 at the Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs.

The event is part of the Matrix Chairs of Change initiative, which celebrates the positive changes that hairdressers make in their clients’ lives and in their communities.

Strand conceived the Bash to mark his 50th birthday, and has declared a fundraising goal of $50,000 for It Gets Better, which provides support and encouragement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth who are facing bullying and other challenges at school, at home and in the community.

The Bash begins March 16 with a mini workshop on “Facing Down the Bully” by Dr. Nicki J. Monti, therapist and author of the groundbreaking book, “Stuck in the Story No More”.

Dr. Monti’s presentation will be followed by a celebration of tolerance, complete with refreshments, prizes and a tequila tasting.

The next day kicks off with a one hour self-defense and exercise class, followed by “Sexy Shamrock Day by the Pool” and champagne brunch.

Throughout the weekend, guests will be invited to share their personal stories in video interviews. The clips will be compiled and screened at the “Metamorphoses Gala” on March 18, celebrating letting go, rebirth and new beginnings.

Ticket/donations are $150 each and the Saguaro Hotel is offering a special rate of $199 per night.

To reserve rooms, call (877) 808-2439 and request the It Gets Better rate.  To purchase tickets, visit www.itgetsbetter.org, click on “Donate” and contribute in the name of Lenny Strand, print out your donation and bring it to the Bash — it will serve as your admission ticket.

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