2017 FUNraising Results

(L-R) Mira Sorvino, Cedric King, Marie Osmond, Seth Maxwell, Eden Sassoon,

Winn Claybaugh, Fran Drescher, Kathy Buckley, Leeza Gibbons

Paul Mitchell Schools Raise $1.5M for Charity

14th Annual Gala Features Mira Sorvino, Fran Drescher, Marie Osmond, John Paul DeJoria, Leeza Gibbons, Kathy Buckley, and More

Held this year at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, CA, the Paul Mitchell Schools 14th annual FUNraising Gala was a star-studded celebration attended by representatives and celebrity spokespeople from this year’s 10 supported charities, along with students and staff from the schools, plus families, friends, and fans from the entertainment and beauty industries.

The black-tie event celebrated two and a half months of “FUNraising”—literally thousands of cut-a-thons, fashion shows, princess parties, and other events held by the 14,000 future professionals and team members from the 110 Paul Mitchell cosmetology schools. This year, they raised over $1.5 million, bringing their 14-year total to $18.2 million.

Co-hosted by TV and radio personality Leeza Gibbons and Paul Mitchell Schools’ Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh, the Gala recognizes the top FUNraising schools and other major contributors, including numerous artists and educators who donate their time and talent to the campaign. This year’s event acknowledged makeup expert Debra Dietrich, who has singlehandedly raised over $1 million in the past six years by offering specialized makeup classes to schools across the country and donating all proceeds to the campaign. The event also recognized winners of the “First 100” contest—the first 100 students and team members to each raise at least $3,000 were invited to attend the Gala, where they enjoyed a “meet and greet” photo op with celebrity guests plus a day of hands-on education the next day with long-hair expert Martin Parsons, master barber Darrin “DL” Lyons, and Debra Dietrich. 

The Gala also provided the opportunity to mingle with leading icons and artists, including Paul Mitchell Co-owner Angus Mitchell; salon owner, reality TV star and daughter of legendary beauty icon Vidal Sassoon, Eden Sassoon; Intercoiffure President Frank Gambuzza; fitness guru Chalene Johnson; Mary Wilson of the Supremes; industry icons and educators Nicholas French and Melissa and Billy Yamaguchi; men’s grooming expert Diana Schmidtke; Hollywood Hair Guy Dean Banowetz; Ellen DeGeneres’s hairdresser Laini Reeves; Dancing with the Stars Emmy nominee Melissa Jaqua; Broadway director Paul Lambert; reality TV star Jason Wahler; former Miss USA Tara Conner; and actors Renee Taylor, Joe Bologna, and Ray Abruzzo.

2017 Gala Highlights

World-renowned mariachi band Mariachi Sol de Mexico kicked off the evening, followed by Jay and Merrill Osmond. It was the first appearance for the new Osmond Brothers duo—made even more exciting when their sister Marie joined in for a few songs. Marie Osmond returned later in the evening to represent Children’s Miracle Network, the charity she cofounded. “These miracles don’t happen without you, and we appreciate all that you do,” Marie told the audience. “In 50 years nobody’s going to know who I am and it doesn’t matter but they’re going to know Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Paul Mitchell Schools and the love that you give back in so many ways.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $1.275 million to CMN Hospitals.

Paul Mitchell Cofounder and Chairman John Paul DeJoria acknowledged the schools’ longtime support for Food 4 Africa, an organization close to his heart. To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $930,000 and provided orphaned children with more than 24 million meals through Food 4 Africa.

Fran Drescher delivered an impromptu comedy routine before taking a more serious moment to acknowledge the schools for their contributions to Cancer Schmancer. “I’m so grateful for your generosity and support,” Fran said. “We honestly couldn’t get through the year without you, so God bless you and thank you!” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $880,000 to Cancer Schmancer.   

CAST Ambassador, UN Spokesperson on Human Trafficking, and Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino shared chilling statistics about human trafficking and the successful efforts of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. “We are so incredibly grateful to Paul Mitchell Schools for their partnership with CAST,” she said, “for the impact they are having on the lives of countless survivors of human trafficking and for providing scholarships to survivors who are soon to graduate and start rebuilding their lives.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $200,000 to CAST. Funds provided in the past three years have rescued 400 trafficking victims per year, helping over 1,000 people regain their freedom.

Leeza Gibbons spoke about Leeza’s Care Connection, which provides support services to caregivers and their families and connects caregivers to one another and the much-needed resources within their own community. As the founding charity partner of the FUNraising campaign, Leeza said, “That’s a lot of years we’ve been together, and I thank you that you’re still inviting me in. Thank you for still believing in us.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated over $1 million to the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation and Leeza’s Care Connection.

Eden Sassoon and Thirst Project founder Seth Maxwell addressed the worldwide water crisis and Thirst Project’s efforts around the world. “We work with a lot of amazing groups but this group, far and above, the Paul Mitchell Schools are unbelievable,” Seth said. “You guys are so innovative and creative and give of yourselves in amazing ways. What’s happening here tonight and what you guys do the rest of the year is not normal in the best way possible, and I hope you know how amazing you are.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $300,000 to Thirst Project—providing safe water for more than 8,000 people for the rest of their lives.

In their afterschool and theater programs, No Limits helps deaf and hearing-impaired children from low-income families develop language. “We can’t do these things without people like you,” said spokesperson Kathy Buckley. “I wish you could be there when a mother finally hears her child say hello … I see it on a daily basis. Connection is very important to be able to be a part of this world – as crazy as it is. … When I look in this room I see nothing but angels. Thank you, God, for creating such wonderful angels right here on earth.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $700,000 to No Limits.

During his third deployment in Afghanistan in 2012, Gary Sinise Foundation Ambassador U.S. Army Master Sgt. Cedric King lost both of his legs. He recently received a smart home from the Gary Sinise Foundation. “The need is so great in our country for guys like me who have been injured,” Cedric said. “Gary understood that when a warrior comes back from a combat zone, he or she is supposed to have a place to rest. Home is a place where my daughters are going to experience getting ready for the prom and coming home and maybe, hopefully, me being able to explain algebra in our new home. This is all made possible by your efforts—by that one bake sale, by that one car wash that you did … and we’ll forever be thankful for each and every school, each and every effort that was put forth.” To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $685,000 to the Gary Sinise Foundation. 

Magic Johnson was unable to attend this year’s Gala but has been a frequent guest at other Paul Mitchell School events. To date, Paul Mitchell Schools have donated $655,000 to the Magic Johnson Foundation.

This year’s charity representatives join an elite group of wonderful celebrities who’ve supported Paul Mitchell Schools in the past, including Dolly Parton, Larry King, Vidal Sassoon, and Betty White.

2017 Compassionate Service Award


In recognition of their selfless, compassionate service and tireless dedication, the 2017 Andrew Gomez Compassionate Service Award was presented to Cancer Schmancer founder Fran Drescher and to Paul Mitchell School owner and Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation board member Charles Riser.

2017 Top 20 FUNraising Schools

Paul Mitchell The School St. Louis $55,953

Paul Mitchell The School Temecula $51,138

Parisian Beauty Academy, A Paul Mitchell Partner School $42,586

Rudy and Kelly Academy, A Paul Mitchell Partner School $36,660

Paul Mitchell The School Honolulu $36,436

Paul Mitchell The School Las Vegas $35,000

Paul Mitchell The School Fresno $34,001

Paul Mitchell The School Tulsa $32,196

Paul Mitchell The School Michigan $31,041

Paul Mitchell The School Chicago $30,025

Paul Mitchell The School Dallas $27,890

Paul Mitchell The School Charlotte $27,434

Paul Mitchell The School San Diego $26,697

Paul Mitchell The School East Bay $26,207

Paul Mitchell The School Sacramento $25,894

Paul Mitchell The School Costa Mesa $25,575

Paul Mitchell The School North Haven $25,050

Paul Mitchell The School Houston $24,761

Related Links

FUNraising website: www.PaulMitchellSchoolsFUNraising.org

Paul Mitchell Schools: www.paulmitchell.edu

About Paul Mitchell Schools

At Paul Mitchell Schools, we believe that education is an adventure and the learning experience needs to be fun and well rounded. Our courses focus on important technical skills and business knowledge with an emphasis on social and community responsibility. Our learning leaders are trained to draw out the artist in our students and prepare them to enter their chosen careers as community-conscious salon, spa, and barbering professionals. Through our annual “FUNraising” campaign, we’ve raised and donated over $18.2 million in support of many charitable causes. We’ve built homes with Habitat for Humanity, provided millions of meals to African orphans, and supported the victims of AIDS, breast cancer, homelessness, abuse, and hundreds of other causes.

Established 35 years ago, the Paul Mitchell network is nearly 100,000 salons strong and in 81 countries worldwide; every professional hairdresser knows the Paul Mitchell name. Now, with the arrival of Paul Mitchell Schools, we’ve taken the world of cosmetology education by storm! Visit www.paulmitchell.edu to learn more.

About the 2017 Supported Charities

Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation was founded to honor a successful Paul Mitchell School graduate whose struggle against mental illness ended tragically in suicide. The foundation helps cosmetology students, graduates, their families, and cosmetology-related enterprises. Funds have provided educational opportunities, hurricane relief, and support in the fights against breast cancer, domestic violence, and other destroyers of self-esteem.

Cancer Schmancer Movement, founded by Fran Drescher, is an education and advocacy organization dedicated to saving lives through prevention and early detection of cancer. By empowering ourselves and the people we love to become medical consumers, listen to our bodies, ask the right questions of our doctors, and seek second opinions, we can prevent cancer and, if we still end up with it, detect cancer in its earliest stages.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many sick and injured children as possible.

CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) aims to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations. 

Food 4 Africa is committed to supplying at least one vitamin- and mineral-enriched meal each day to the children of Southern Africa, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic has left more than 11 million children orphaned. There are currently 3.9 million orphans in South Africa. Of these, approximately 2 million have been orphaned as a direct result of AIDS, and countless others have been orphaned as an indirect result.

Whether building custom Smart Homes for severely wounded heroes, hosting festivals at military hospitals, or supporting families during times of urgent need, the Gary Sinise Foundation is dedicated to serving and honoring America’s defenders.

Leeza’s Care Connection is a nonprofit organization offering free services to help families facing Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses. Our mission is to create resourceful and resilient caregivers through innovative programs that offer education, support, and wellness.

Magic Johnson Foundation supports educational empowerment through HIV/AIDS awareness, college access, and digital literacy.

No Limits is the only program in the world that teaches low-income deaf children the skills to succeed in school and in life through its national theater program and after-school educational centers that enhance their confidence and communication skills while providing the leadership and academic skills to be college ready. No Limits educates parents to be advocates for their deaf children and shows that they have the potential to go farther than they can imagine. 

Thirst Project is the world’s leading youth water activism organization. In just seven years, Thirst Project has mobilized more than 400,000 students and young people who funded over 1,800 water projects in 13 countries, giving more than 300,000 people access to safe, clean drinking water.