Blooms, butterflies at an Allegheny City business honor a late customer


An Allegheny City salon is honoring a former loyal customer with love and flowers.

The staff at Fashions Front Salon and Grand Day Spa in Leechburg created a butterfly memorial garden this spring in honor of the late Leonard “Lenny” Rocco Calderon.

Calderone died suddenly on January 16. He was 78.

Calderone was a loyal customer who was known to stop by the salon every Saturday with donuts for the employees.

Front of Fashions employee Emily Smith said: “He was a regular in the salon every week and really brightened up any room he walked into.

Smith served as the lead organizer for the effort to get the greenery, flowers, butterfly bushes and garden fountain, all with contributions from more than 50 people, most of them salon clients.

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Courtesy of Koran Funeral Home

Leonard Rocco “Lenny” Calderone

“Customers enjoy walking down the sidewalk in front of the salon to soak in the relaxing and peaceful environment with butterflies floating around them,” Smith said.

It took about five months to complete the project.

Organizers chose two groups of flowers to plant – nectar plants to attract adult butterflies and caterpillar food plants.

The aim of the project was to select plants that can feed butterflies, especially monarch butterflies, from the endangered list and encourage them to lay eggs and produce new generations.

“It was a wonderful morning with so many monarchs visiting our garden. “It became our goal to bring more monarchs to this area to help with this very important pollinator.” Smith said.

Flowers in the garden include zinnias, lavender, clove roses, sunflowers, alliums, shasta daisies, dinner plate dahlias and sedums.

Calderon’s two younger sisters, Elizabeth Calderon and Phyllis Collins Calderon, both contributed flowers to the garden.

New Elizabeth Calderon of Mount Kisco visits the Vandergrift area several times a year.

“It was very sweet. I was so taken, and so unexpected. It was very emotional,” she said of her first visit to the garden.

After the first garden visit, both sisters returned to fashion forward the next day and donated three butterfly bushes for planting.

“We wanted to contribute, so we visited again in June. It’s beautiful, and they’re totally focused and dedicated to the garden,” Elizabeth Calderon said.

“It’s really a testament to what kind of person my brother was. He was kind and forgiving. He was not judgmental. He welcomed everyone. “

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

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

Smith was especially moved by the involvement of the Calderon sisters in the project.

“The first time they walked through the garden, they started tearing up the memories of their brother and the story of why we decided on him,” Smith said.

Joyce Hanz is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. You can contact Joyce by email at jhanz@triblive.com or on Twitter. .





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