Aug 2020 Bradford Today
Balance issues means Mary Ingoglia can work just one day a week, looking after her 'six faithful' ladies
Mary Ingoglia has had a hairdressing career that has spanned more than five decades – 32 of those years as the owner of Mary & Vita Hair Design in Bradford. For the past year, though, a balance issue has made it impossible for Ingoglia to spend the long hours on her feet that being a stylist involves. She's fine when sitting, but "unfortunately, my job is standing," she said.
Ingoglia has had to go into retirement, or at least semi-retirement, leaving the daily operation of the salon to “her girls.”She now comes in only on Friday mornings, to do the hair of a handful of long-time clients. “I don’t want to retire – I’m fighting it as much as I can,” Ingoglia said, but one Friday morning a week is as much as she can handle. She comes in to do the hair of the clients she calls “my six ‘faithful.’ I’ve done my ladies’ hair for over 30 years – one for 50 years.”
Recently, Mary Ingoglia was in the salon when she received a surprise visit. Mayor Rob Keffer, Deputy Mayor James Leduc and Coun. Peter Ferragine stopped by to present her with a huge bouquet of flowers and a certificate, thanking her for her decades of service – not only as a hairstylist, but for her fundraising efforts within the community.
Ingoglia has been a champion of the Cochlear Implant program at the Hospital for Sick Children, a program that she once described as providing the “gift of hearing” for children who are profoundly deaf. For a decade, her annual cut-athons at Mary & Vita Hair Design raised tens of thousands of dollars for the implant program and its families, in memory of her daughter Vita and granddaughter Stephanie. Little Stephanie received one of the earliest implants at Sick Kids, and had just begun to discover a new world of communication, when a tragic collision took her life and the life of her mom, Vita. Mary turned each cut-athon into a celebration of their lives, engaging the whole community in the annual fundraiser. On Friday, she was delighted with the visit from members of council, the flowers and the certificate from the Town, but still not sure about the concept of retirement - "because I think I should be in here, working!” she said.