Kate’s Cuts to donate proceeds to Honor Flight New England

  • Kate Williams, owner of Kate's Cuts in Peterborough, will donate 50 percent of all proceeds from services on Monday to Honor Flight New England. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Gus Williams had quite the experience on Honor Flight New England. His daughter in law is hosting a cut-a-thon at Kate's Cuts on Monday to donate 50 percent of the proceeds from the day to the nonprofit organization. Courtesy Photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, November 07, 2018 11:15PM

It was supposed to be the perfect Father’s Day for Gus Williams.

The Korean War veteran was heading to Washington D.C. on Honor Flight New England for a day to celebrate those who have served their country. The group was to visit memorials in the nation’s capital dedicated to past battles. They are flown down and back the same day, given police escort bus rides and dinner – without any cost to the veteran.

Kate Williams, Gus’s daughter-in-law, signed him up for an Honor Flight two years prior after seeing a previous group while visiting Washington. Gus was finally chosen for this June. The nonprofit only within the last few years opened up the experience to Korean War veterans after serving all the World War II vets that had signed up. Kate paid the $600 to be his companion for the day and the two boarded a plane with 61 other veterans, their caretakers for the day and Honor Flight’s medical team.

Prior to the trip, Gus was given a clean bill of health from his doctors, but on the descent into Washington he fell ill. So ill that the 87-year-old had to be admitted to a hospital in Washington where he spent three and a half days and missed the entire trip. The founder of Honor Flight New England, Joe Byron, stayed overnight at the hospital so Kate Williams could go home on the return flight.

“He [almost] died on the flight,” Williams said. 

But the entire experience left Williams with a tremendous feeling – even though it wasn’t at all how she envisioned the day going.

So on Monday, Williams, owner of Kate’s Cuts at 70 Hancock Road (in the plaza just south of South Meadow School), is hosting a cut-a-thon to benefit Honor Flight New England. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in honor of Veteran’s Day, Williams will donate 50 percent of all services done, including manicures, pedicures, colors, cuts and perms, to Honor Flight New England. In the past, Williams has done fundraisers for for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

“They were so amazing,” Williams said about the Honor Flight people. “And went so far out of the way for us, we wanted to give back. It’s such a worthy cause.”

Williams business mostly runs on both walk-ins and appointments, so those in need of a haircut or just a quick trim to support the cause can show up at any time. There will be appointments taken for colors and perms. And really Williams is the one doing the donation out of her revenue, since the fees for the services remain the same. The thing customers can do is go in that day to help boost the donation amount. There will also be a donation jar at the salon on Monday, and those who can’t make it can donate through a Go Fund Me page.

“Anything that we can donate will be great,” Williams said. “And the customers aren’t playing anything extra.”

Byron will also be at the salon from 1 to 3 p.m. to talk about the organization and answer any questions.

Doctors never quite figured out what happened to Gus. Since he was unable to truly experience the trip, he has been invited back at any time. Honor Flight has six flights a year in the spring and fall, but Williams doesn’t believe Gus, who is now a resident at the Cheshire County nursing home in Westmoreland, will be given the go-ahead to fly.

“He’s doing much better now,” Williams said.

But Williams has thought about paying to go again to volunteer; the experience made that much of an impact.

Since being founded in 2009, Honor Flight New England has transported 1,902 veterans to Washington.

For more information, visit Kate’s Cuts on Facebook or honorflightnewengland.org.