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Mondays at Racine - An Oscar Nominated Short Film
Chemo is Not an Easy Journey
A Different Kind of Beauty Salon
Every third Monday of the month, Racine, a beauty salon in Islip, New York, opens its doors to women who have suffered from hair loss because of cancer treatment.
Of all of the ravages that cancer can inflict, the loss of hair caused by cancer treatment is least understood and appreciated. Because hair is so much a part of a woman's identity, losing it can mean a woman feeling that she's lost part of herself. It isn't only the loss of hair, but eyelashes and eyebrows as well that can cause such a dramatic change in a woman's appearance.
Two sisters from Islip, Long Island decided to do something about it. They had lost their mother to breast cancer years ago, and the idea of doing something for women undergoing the rigors of chemotherapy was born. Racine, a blend of the names Rachel and Cynthia, is a special place. They throw open their doors once a month and dedicate the salon strictly to taking care of women who have or are beginning to suffer hair loss from cancer treatment. The beauty treatments are free of charge. Rachel Delmolfetto and her sister Cynthia Sansone opened Racine in 1994. Their program for helping women suffering the ravages of chemotherapy began 10 years ago. Not only do the folks at Racine provide beauty help but the program also provides a social respite for the women undergoing chemo.
Racine - The Movie
The short documentary movie Mondays at Racine was nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject in 2012. The director, Cynthia Wade, isn't new to Hollywood. Her documentary Freeheld walked away with the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject in 2008. She has directed over 50 documentaries that concentrate primarily on compelling social issues. It was a first time nomination for the film's producer Robin Honan.
MONDAYS AT RACINE also got a Special Jury Mention from the SilverDocs Documentary Festival, an Audience Award from the Boston Independent Film Festival, and an Audience Award from Indianapolis International Film Festival. The film also received a nomination for an International Documentary Award. All of these accolades came in 2012
Mondays at Racine captures something beyond the vision set out in the movie. A beauty salon on a suburban main street is not the usual subject of something dramatic. But two woman who decided to tackle a serious problem, caught the attention of Cynthia Wade for their selfless work. As you look at the film you can see the difference being made for the women who are treated.
I'm happy to say that Rachel is my friend. I had never heard of Racine, even though I pass it every day. Like most guys, I drive by beauty salons and nail places without paying any attention. They just become part of the scenery. I first met Rachel and Cynthia at the Community Awards Dinner of the Rotary Club of Islip in 2012 where they were honored with the Community Service Award. Rachel would later become a member of the Islip Rotary Club. Having an academy award nominee in your club is a special feeling. Every week Rachel would bring us up to date on the rumor status of the movie's nomination. Although the film didn't clinch the Oscar, it was a great feeling to have a friend honored in a way that will never go away. Mondays at Racine will always be with us, and will always stand as a testament to how two women can make a big difference in the lives of other women.
Copyright © 2013 by Russell F. Moran