“Making an impact where it is truly needed should be a way of life for everyone. There is no feeling as wonderful as seeing how even small acts of kindness can change someone’s world.” – Chris Walker
Studio Gabriel Salon and Spa owner, Chris Walker has a giving heart. Chris and all of the Studio Gabriel staff selflessly give their time and talents to the not-for-profit organizations. They genuinely care about others and continue to make a steadfast difference in the community they call home. Chris remembers traveling alongside her mother and daughter back in 2000 to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Nevada to provide manicures, haircuts, and makeovers to the little girls that were patients there. Seeing the smiles and positive impact they made on those little girls is something she will never forget. Since then, she has continued to expand her philanthropic endeavors to help as many non-profits as she can.
Dancing with Vero’s Stars 2019
The Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition establishes and supports a local system of care that optimizes health of moms, babies, and their families living in Indian River County. Dancing with Vero’s Stars is an annual feature fundraiser where local movers and shakers are paired with professional dance instructors to put on a dazzling evening performance on the stage of Riverside Theater in an effort to raise money for the local cause. Chris Walker was chosen to participate as one of ten star dancers from the community for this past year on May 11th, 2019. She was happy to step outside of her comfort zone, learn to dance, and support a cause close to her heart. The dancers collectively raised a record $495,000, a considerable increase from the roughly $40,000 raised at the first event in 2009. The entire Studio Gabriel Salon & Spa family participated in raising money for the cause and showed up to cheer on owner Chris Walker the night of the event.
2019 Replogle Family Award
One of Studio Gabriel’s favorite nonprofits to support is the ARC of Indian River County, an organization that caters to special needs individuals. Chris Walker was awarded the 2019 Replogle Family Award for her contributions to the ARC. From the press:
“Walker has been a staunch supporter of The Arc for more than eight years. She opens up Studio Gabriel several times a year so that members of The Arc chorus may perform, giving them a platform for public awareness and acceptance. She has also hired two very dedicated and willing employees through The Arc’s employment program, and has sponsored fundraisers, volunteered and donated to the cause.
“There is no greater joy for me than to see our staff and clients embrace the beautiful souls in The Arc chorus. They are just so joyful and innocent, and everyone loves them,” said Walker. “Seeing them flourish, and watching my staff and clients embrace them and take them under their wings like family, is awe inspiring. I am honored to been given this award, but their smiling faces is reward enough.”
2018 Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist
National Philanthropy Day is a special day set aside to highlight the individuals and organizations that have played a key philanthropic role in making an extraordinary difference in the lives of people in communities across the country. Studio Gabriel was nominated to be the 2018 Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist by the Associate of Fundraising Professionals Indian River Chapter for demonstrating outstanding commitment through philanthropic support in our community. This nomination was a true honor and one that Studio Gabriel is very proud of.