UNSUNG HERO: Mary Miller gets the "Hotheads experience" for free - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

UNSUNG HERO: Mary Miller gets the "Hotheads experience" for free

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MARION -- In this week's Unsung Hero a Williamson County woman is saying thank you to a local hair salon.

For three years Mary Miller has attended, "A Night to Shine", which is a Prom for those living with disabilities, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. Last year, Mary and her mother saved up enough money to get Mary's hair done at Hotheads Hair Salon in Marion only to have owners say it's free and the owner did it again this year. 

Hotheads Hair Salon owner Lachelle Hartline has owned her own business for 14 years.

"We're getting so busy that the normal work week is not adequate enough anymore," said Lachelle.  

This past February, the salon was extra busy helping Mary and a few other ladies get dolled up for their big night. 

"This year was extra special going because I got to have my friend Chris with me," said Mary.
     
The 23-year-old was getting ready for a Night to Shine Prom.

"It's a prom with people with disabilities and ex-disabilities or if you're in a wheelchair," said Mary.

At five years old, doctors diagnosed Mary with a rare learning disability called Fragile X Syndrome.

"As people noticed me when I was in junior high to high school they always bullied me because I had Fragile X Syndrome and because I was in Special Ed," added Mary.  

Going to school dances were a challenge, that's why she looks forward to this time each year.
    
"It's a good experience because a lot of people that have disabilities like me can't go to prom," said Mary.  
    
This is Mary's third year strutting her stuff Hollywood style and thanks to Lachelle she gets a boost of confidence when she looks in the mirror.

"I thought, nobody can change me. I'm the way I am and I'm pretty no matter what," said Mary.

This year was her second year getting what she called "the Hothead experience".

"She said, you're an athlete. This is only one time a year thing, it's free for you."   

Mary and her buddies got their hair, makeup, and nails done at no cost.

"To me it's like, if you can't work for free, then you're probably not doing the job you're supposed to be doing," said Lachelle.

The two have now become friends and talk throughout the year.

"They are considered special to me," said Mary.'
      
"They could have picked any hair salon in their little own town but they chose to drive here and come in here. They physically, mentally, chose us and that speaks volumes for me," added Lachelle.

Mary shared her appreciation in her own words.

"Thank you very much. You are very nice ladies and thank you K., for doing my fingernails," said Mary.

Mary said she can't wait until next year. Lachelle plans to continue to do this year after year and hopes more salons will want to join in.

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