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Salon owner’s tribute to late judge a cut above

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

If there is a heaven, there’s a special salon chair with Lillian Lee’s name on it — right next to the late Superior Court Judge Deborah Ustas. It would only be right. Lee’s Teaneck salon broke its record this weekend for funds raised for the “Hope Cuts” charity, which she dedicated this year to Ustas, who died of cancer in June.

“Overall, we had 58 clients who received services amounting to about $1800 and the rest of the proceeds ($1100) raised were from  raffles and “Hope” bears that were provided to us by City of Hope,” Lee said in an email.  “We had seven stylists working at one time and a masseuse that we brought in just for the event.”

Doing wonders at Lillian Lee Salon & Spa

“It was like ‘Steel Magnolias’ at a town fundraiser! Everyone knew each other,” Lee said. “I’m sure that I had every character from that movie  represented…. Feels good.”

Ustas, extremely charitable herself, inspired Lee to create the “Do Wonders” program, in which she refurbishes donated wigs and customizes them for women with cancer for free.

It was an awful shock when the judge called and asked for one for herself.

“It was devastating to find out she had cancer,” but Lee was “honored that she chose me to help her maintain her identity and dignity through such a difficult time.”

(See: ‘ Hope Cuts Tribute to Judge Ustas’ )

“Hope Cuts” is a fundraising event to support Cancer and HIV/AIDS research at City of Hope.

The kindhearted Lillian Lee

All of the stylists were volunteers and the proceeds from all cuts, blowouts, massages, etc., went directly to City of Hope Cancer Research Center.

If you’re the type to pay forward — and love being pampered — visit Lillian Lee’s salon. In these times, as Lee says, you feel better on the inside when you look gorgeous on the outside.

Lillian Lee Salon
947 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
201-837-6770, or email:

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