Patrick Lomantini is crazy — about helping animals. Last year, he had the idea to set a world record cutting hair — which he did in 72 hours straight doing 227 haircuts — that benefitted the Kansas Humane Society.
In the aftermath of this feat, he and his friend Brian began tossing around the idea of something in all 50 states, and it was actually Brian who piped up with the idea to do 50 states in 50 days, doing 50 haircuts a day. “He even started figuring out a route that I could follow,” said Lomantini. In just a couple of days the 50 States Tour kicks off on Aug. 1.
“I am so excited about this, there just aren’t words,” Lomantini said. “It’s exciting that someone in Darlington, South Carolia, which is a small shelter that relies solely on gifts from the community to operate, is so pumped up that I’m coming all the way from Wichita to cut hair to help the animals.”
Lomantini was picking up road trip supplies when I caught him, but anytime you talk to him about helping animals, the passion for doing what he loves to make a difference to help displaced animals comes through.
This is a good kind of crazy, as Lomantini has a big heart when it comes to animals. He has four horses and four dogs, and knows there are many animals that don’t know love, are dumped alone and afraid to fend for themselves, and who find themselves in shelters through no fault of their own, not knowing what got them there.
“I don’t have any sponsors for this, I’m spending my own money to travel and in each city, a different shelter or rescue will benefit from the funds raised,” Lomantini explained. “But I could not have pulled this off without first doing the world record last year — the shelters are taking me seriously because I’ve shown I will tackle something and see it through.”
The 50 States Tour starts in Augusta, Maine at Visage Salon on Aug. 1. Lomantini will travel down the East Coast and then in kind of a zig-zag pattern up and down the country. He flies to Hawaii to the island of Kuai on day 38 then up to Anchorage, Alaska at the Impressions Salon on day 39. He’ll fly to Seattle, Wash. to pick up back in the states for day 40. Ultimately, the tour will wind up on day 50, Sept. 19, back in Wichita, where he will be at Lomantini The Salon cutting hair to benefit Lifeline Animal Placement and Protection no-kill shelter. Appointments to be part of this landmark trip are being taken now at 316-258-3118.
Many of the shelters and rescues that will benefit from Lomantini’s visit are small organizations that operate on shoestring budgets, often taking in dogs and cats in need, then fundraising to pay the vet bill. To be able to do 50 haircuts, the public who comes is asked to do trims only and for a minimum suggested donation of $20. Of course, donating more is always welcome and if you can’t make it to the Sept. 20 date in Wichita, donations for Lifeline can be dropped off at Lomantini The Salon, 1812 S. Seneca, Suite 408L.
“Some people have been kind of negative about this, but I know this is a good thing. In some ways, it isn’t how much money is raised, but how much I can help these shelters raise awareness about the animals they have to adopt who so desperately need homes,” Lomantini said.
You can follow Lomantini’s tour via his Facebook page, and he just started a blog this week to begin a kind of trip diary, and we’ll be checking in with him along the way. You can send words of encouragement through any of these online venues as we talked about him probably needing to catch a second wind about midway through this whirlwind tour, which Lomantini doesn’t see as anything that unusual.