A local business owner is taking a cue from reality TV personality Kim Kardashian and entering the “mayor’s race” in Glendale, hoping to attract some of the attention Kardashian did, but for a different reason.
Helen McDonagh, owner of Massage Envy in Glendale, doesn’t want to hold public office — at least not right now. Instead, she wants to wage a campaign to support Glendale Healthy Kids, which provides health services to local needy children. All contributions for her “mayoral” bid will go to the local organization.
Her goal: raise $10,000 by June 30.
McDonagh said she was struck by how much attention Kardashian received over her announcement.
“I’m thinking, ‘The woman is brilliant,’” McDonagh said. “And then I kind of started jokingly saying, ‘I should run against her.’”
McDonagh said she’s aware that her faux campaign should actually target a seat on City Council, from which a mayor is selected each year. But she knew that she and Glendale Healthy Kids would get more of the spotlight if they followed Kardashian’s lead.
McDonagh, owner of Massage Envy, a spa on Brand Boulevard, may not be a household name, but she’s well-known in local civic circles, serving as president of the Downtown Glendale Merchants Assn., and for working to support local nonprofits.
As a mother of two, McDonagh said she empathizes with parents who struggle to provide adequate health care for their children, such as regular dental visits, physicals and medicine.
She was particularly moved by a child who needed assistance getting asthma medication.
McDonagh also suffers from asthma; she knew that without the medicine, a severe asthma attack could be fatal.
Another factor was that the organization’s executive director, Camille Levee, leaves at the end of the month to head up a domestic violence shelter in Arizona.
“That’s a huge loss for Glendale,” McDonagh said.
She hopes to be halfway to her goal by the time Levee departs.
The size of the donations isn’t necessarily important, McDonagh said, as long as the goal is reached.
“I’d love to get 1,000 $10 donations,” she said with a chuckle.
She is also running special promotions through her business to raise funds for the campaign.