Continuing a local teen’s legacy

The late Summer Dale poses with Josiah Darden, one of the patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta who received a gift funded by the charity founded in Summer's name.

The late Summer Dale poses with Josiah Darden, one of the patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta who received a gift funded by the charity founded in Summer’s name.

On a Sunday last fall, the staff at Sandy Springs’ Salon Skanda donated their products and services to The Purple Hair Challenge, a fundraiser for Team Summer, a nonprofit named in memory of local teen Summer Dale, who died from a rare form of cancer in 2012.

“When Summer’s mother, Lynne Dale, told us Summer’s story, we were blown away,” says Salon Skanda co-owner Robert Miraglia. “Every employee signed up [to help out]. Sometimes we get stuck in our own day to day problems. It felt great to make a contribution.” Notes Lynne Dale, “Our original goal was $20,000, and we raised an astonishing $43,000.”

The Salon Skanda staff who volunteered their services to support Team Summer.

The Salon Skanda staff who volunteered their services to support Team Summer.

Team Summer got its start in 2011 when a family friend began selling purple rubber bracelets to help defray the Dales’ medical costs for Summer’s treatment, with some left over for Summer’s favorite cause. “At first, Summer wanted nothing to do with the cancer community,” says her mom. “Then [Summer met] an 11-year-old girl named Sarah who had Ewing’s sarcoma. Summer did a complete turnaround and decided to start a network of kids helping kids.” Sarah was gifted with an iPod Touch, and Summer chose unique gifts for other children battling cancer.

Summer tragically lost her battle, but after her death, her family asked Team Summer recipients to “pass it forward” using funds from the organization. The network lives on, thanks to fundraisers like The Purple Hair Challenge.

For more information, visit salonskanda.com and teamsummer.org.

BY: Mickey Goodman
Photos: CR Richterkessing Photography