Tattoo shop to ink for charity
BY KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
Alex Canonico will present her first Tats for Tots event this week at her shop, Tattoos by Artful Alex, in Somerset.
The event is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 19, 5 to 10 p.m. Dec. 20 and noon to 10 p.m. Dec. 21.
Canonico said she’s partnering with Somerset Inc. and The Children's Aid Home Programs of Somerset County Inc. in order to help bring the event to fruition. Angela Maust of Haz Beanz Brewhouse Cafe is also helping.
Canonico said the Toys for Tots collection inspired her to host a “Tots” event of her own.
“I kept thinking about how to make the most meaningful impact to those in our own hometown needing it most,” Canonico said.
Here’s how her fundraising event works. Canonico will provide two different flash pages of holiday-themed tattoo designs. She has a capsule vending machine in her shop, and each capsule will be labeled with a number. The machine randomizes the capsules, and the number that participants get will match one of the designs on the flash pages. The individual can select where on his or her body the tattoo will be placed, and then Canonico will get to work.
The event is open to anyone over the age of 18 — “those heavily inked and those who aren’t at all,” Canonico said.
No reservations will be accepted; customers will be tattooed on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is cash only. Those who plan on getting a tattoo should eat, hydrate well and bring their ID. Adults are advised not to bring children to this event. Canonico will be posting other updates and helpful tattoo-related details on her Facebook page as the event draws nearer.
Those who wish to contribute to Tats for Tots without getting a permanent tattoo can still contribute to the cause by placing money in a donation box in Canonico’s shop.
“No amount is too little,” she said.
Canonico added that if this inaugural fundraiser goes well, she’d love to make it an annual event.
“I am looking forward to seeing how the entire community pulls together to make this event a success for The Children’s Aid Home,” she said.
Canonico has been given a list of what gifts approximately 10 children at The Children's Aid Home would like Santa to bring them this year. The children are 18-years-old and under.
“The employees of the Aid Home were super excited I was doing this for them and kept thanking me for thinking of the kids,” Canonico said. “I’m hoping to gain enough money from the event to get every child a few gifts on their lists.”
All proceeds from the event will be used to purchase Christmas gifts. After Canonico shops for the gifts, her plan will be to wrap, label and then deliver them on or around Dec. 23.
Canonico described Christmas as “the most depressing time of the year to those struggling.”
“Giving a kind gesture, or something totally unexpected, can change an individual’s outlook entirely around the holidays,” she said. “This event could really make the kids’ Christmas. I want to make it a memorable time to those in difficult situations. I want them to know they aren’t forgotten. Being the light in someone’s world in a dark moment could change their total life direction. At least it did for me years ago.”
For more information about Tattoos by Artful Alex, visit artfulalex.wixsite.com online. Those interested in participating in this fundraiser can also connect with Canonico on her Facebook page, Tattoos by Artful Alex.