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Allegheny Township Business Blooms and Butterflies Honor Late Customers

The Allegheny Township salon pays tribute to its former loyal customers with love and flowers.

Employees at Leachburg’s Fashion Ahead Salon & Grand Day Spa created a memorial garden of butterflies in honor of the late Leonard Rocco Calderone this spring.

Calderone passed away suddenly on January 16th. He was 78 years old.

Calderone was a loyal customer known to stop by the salon every Saturday with a donut in hand for the employees.

“He was a regular at the salon every week and really brightened up any room he stepped into,” said Fashion Ahead employee Emily Smith.

Smith served as the lead organizer of a grassroots effort to acquire mulch, flowers, butterfly bushes and garden fountains, receiving donations from over 50 people, most of whom are salon customers.


Courtesy of Curran Funeral Home

Leonard Rocco “Lenny” Calderone

“Clients enjoy walking the sidewalk in front of the salon and immersing themselves in a relaxed and peaceful environment with butterflies floating around,” says Smith.

It took about five months to complete the project.

Organizers chose to plant two groups of flowers: nectar plants that attract adult butterflies and edible plants for caterpillars.

The goal of this project was to select plants that could feed butterflies, especially monarch butterflies, which are on the endangered species list, to encourage them to lay eggs and produce new generations.

“It was a wonderful morning with multiple monarchs visiting our garden. It became,” Smith said.

Garden flowers include zinnia, lavender, clove pink, sunflower, allium, shasta daisy, dinner plate dahlia, and sedum.

Calderone’s two younger sisters, Elizabeth Calderone and Phyllis Collins Calderone, donated flowers to the garden.

Elizabeth Calderone of Mount Kisco, New York, visits the Vandergrift area several times a year.

“It was so sweet.

After visiting the garden for the first time, the sisters returned to Fashions Ahead the next day and donated three butterfly bushes for planting.

“We wanted to contribute and visited again in June. It is absolutely beautiful, and they are completely attentive and dedicated to the garden,” said Elizabeth Calderone.

“It’s a testament to who my brother was. He was kind and tolerant. He wasn’t judgmental. He was accepting of everyone.”

Smith’s neighbor Rob Fortuna donated a fountain in the middle of the garden.

“This is where butterflies gather and drink,” said Smith.

Smith said it was particularly moving to involve the Calderone sisters in the project.

“The first time they walked in the garden, they began to weep over the memory of their brother and the story of why we dedicated the garden to him,” Smith said.

Joyce Hanz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. To contact Joyce, email or use her Twitter. .