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Walker Spotlight Story

A Walk team on the cutting edge: Douglas J’s “Pump Pals” fundraise in style

Walk Website - Walker Spotlight PumpPalsWhen Douglas Weaver opened a hair salon in East Lansing, MI, in 1967, his guiding principles were to deliver exceptional services to guests, provide aspiring salon professionals with a place to learn their craft, and give back to the community. That spirit of taking care of others drove the phenomenal growth of that first salon into Douglas J—a regional company with eight locations throughout Michigan, and two more in Chicago, IL, and Knoxville, TN.

Giving back wherever the business grows

Today, Douglas J is run by Douglas’s two sons, Scott and T.J. As company president, Scott Weaver, of Okemos, MI, has overseen the expansion of the family business to a group of salons, spas, and cosmetology institutes with 550 employees. And he has maintained the philosophy of giving back to communities in which the business operates. In addition to numerous local charities and organizations, the company supports the JDRF Walk every year. JDRF is especially important to Scott because his teenage daughter has type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Samantha “Sami” Weaver was diagnosed with T1D in 1998 at just 17 months old. Her family had no history of T1D, and her parents, Scott and his wife Melanie, experienced several harrowing weeks in which Sami’s doctors failed to diagnose her symptoms. Melanie’s mother, who had worked with children, suggested her granddaughter might have diabetes, and the family insisted on blood work. Within hours, the tests confirmed that Sami, whose blood sugar was dangerously high at 900, had T1D.

When Sami came home from the hospital, Melanie and Scott decided that their daughter would be a kid first and have diabetes second. They also focused on raising money for diabetes organizations. Scott says they support JDRF “because the funds raised go to research and because of the strength we receive from the community.” Melanie adds, “They have a great support group. I couldn’t have done it without JDRF.” The Weavers learned to manage Sami’s T1D as she grew, but were dismayed when Sami’s cousin, Stephen, was also diagnosed with T1D a few years later. Now 16, both cousins are busy high school students, and the family is more committed than ever to supporting T1D research.

Focusing on why they walk

Since 2005, Douglas J’s Walk team, “Pump Pals,” has raised more than $400,000 for JDRF. Every Douglas J location participates in the Walk, with about 100 people walking or volunteering at a Walk. The company also raises money through JDRF paper sneaker sales and large-scale events, such as an annual golf outing for 144 golfers. Douglas J has also been a presenting sponsor of the East Lansing Walk since 2006, and Scott Weaver serves on the JDRF Metro Detroit–Southeast Michigan Chapter’s Board of Directors.

For Scott, his company’s participation in the Walk is about educating the public and raising awareness. He appreciates his employee’s dedication to JDRF and to the many charitable efforts that Douglas J supports. Of Team Pump Pals’ incredible success, Scott encourages other teams to “stay true to why you’re fundraising in the first place. It grows from there.”

Visit walk.jdrf.org to learn more about the JDRF Walk. 


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