Fundraiser is rockin’ and rollin’ for barber’s colon

April 26, 2011

By Laura Geggel

Mark Ashbaugh has cut, trimmed, curled, straightened and styled hair in Issaquah for almost two decades.

Mark Ashbaugh chats with client Allison Smith during her hair-styling appointment. Several businesses and friends are hosting a benefit for Ashbaugh, who just had two surgeries on his colon. By Laura Geggel

After two surgeries in the hospital, his family and friends are asking the community to give back by helping him at a benefit called Rockin’ and Rollin’ for Mark’s Colon.

Since they started the Front Street Salon in 2000, Ashbaugh and his business partner Danielle Abker have amassed more than 600 clients.

Customers call his humor “edgy” and “very funny.”

“People who know him love him,” friend and customer Clinton Fink said. “There will be a family of four and they’ll all be waiting to get their hair cut.”

Fink, an Issaquah native, met Ashbaugh in the early 1990s when Ashbaugh’s former band, Soda Jerk, opened for contemporary grunge bands. Fink would play drums with Ashbaugh playing guitar and singing vocals.

“We jammed together,” Fink said.

In February, when Ashbaugh was seeing his doctor, his colon ruptured just as he was getting up to leave. He had two subsequent surgeries. During the first surgery, doctors nicked his voice box on the way down, paralyzing it, he said.

Now, Ashbaugh can only whisper. Doctors are not sure if his voice will return, saying only time will tell, he said.

He started working again April 21, but his family is still in need of financial help. He and his wife have a 7-year-old son and twin 2-year-old daughters at their house on Squak Mountain.

Allison Smith, a client of the Front Street Salon, invited the community to the benefit April 29. Local bands, including The Rain Kings, will perform and tickets from a $1 drawing will help people win prizes, such as gift certificates to local restaurants.

Smith said the benefit would help the Ashbaugh family in a number of ways.

“It could go toward anything,” she said. “He’s going to have medical bills, he’s going to have loss of income and he’s going to need childcare.”

Donations can also be made at the Front Street Salon, 54 Front St. N.

Several businesses on Front Street are supporting the benefit, including Watts Properties, Jak’s Grill, Issaquah Brewhouse, Trattoria Amante Pizza & Pasta, Fischer Meats, Confetti Cupcakes, Room 38, Front Street Chiropractic Clinic, Sunset Alehouse and Front Street Salon.

Ashbaugh’s landlord, Keith Watts, is donating his office space above Stan’s Bar-B-Q for the benefit.

“Mark’s a great individual,” he said. “He’s got a great sense of humor and he’s a good musician. I know he’s going through a tough time, and it’s times like these when you need help from your friends.”

Because his salon is located in the heart of historic Issaquah, his friend Ricco DiStefano said he often visits Ashbaugh for a good conversation.

“One of my favorite things to do any given day is to drop in and joke around with him at his salon,” DiStefano said. “No matter how down I may have felt when I go in for a ‘Mark fix,’ I leave laughing at his cut-to-the-chase humor that always brings me up.”

Though he could only whisper, Ashbaugh said he couldn’t wait to see his friends, and some new faces, at the benefit.

“I think I’m blessed to be in a community where people care about each other,” he said.

If you go

Rockin’ and Rollin’ for Mark’s Colon

  • 7 p.m. April 29
  • 58 Front St. N., No. 200
  • Located above Stan’s Bar-B-Q
  • Suggested donation is $10.

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

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