A “Beautiful Hour” for Service Member Spouses

Carlsbad, CA – On Election Day 2013, spouses of wounded and critically ill Marines and sailors in southern California cast their votes for wellness and relaxation as they elected to spend their afternoon and evening (after voting, of course!) at Bella D’ora spa in Carlsbad, California.

As the award-winning spa’s website explains, “Bella D’ora means beautiful hour—and that’s what we offer guests: a time for pampering, tranquility, beauty, and wellness.”


The spouses who responded to the Semper Fi Fund’s first-come, first-served invitation (only 20 free spa day spots were available) each received a 30-minute facial, a 30-minute massage, a 30-minute shampoo and blow-dry, plus food, drinks and door prizes.

“The spa is located about 40 minutes north of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, where many of these women spend their time looking after their injured husbands,” said Semper Fi Fund case manager Sue Baker, who helped organize the free spa day. “During their ‘beautiful hour’ in the spa, though, it might as well have been a million miles away.”

“I never thought getting my hair shampooed could be so relaxing,” said Amanda Richardson, “but I guess I didn’t realize how much I have been so focused on husband and kids that I forgot the little stuff for myself. It is truly wonderful that organizations like yours exist.”

“I want to thank Semper Fi Fund and Bella D’ora Spa for taking the time and treating me like a woman,” said Angela Salisbury. “For a long time I have forgotten that I am a person, and not just a caregiver to both my husband and our medical needs child. I have not been taking care of myself for over three years. The staff at Bella D’ora made me feel appreciated and important. I wanted to cry as I was leaving because I felt so overwhelmed with happiness. Thank you to everyone that made the event possible.”

“These women are going through, and have been through, more than the rest of us can imagine,” Sue added. “I’m so happy to help give them a day where they can have fun, focus on themselves for a change, and make some new friends—and I’m grateful to everyone at Bella D’ora for donating their time, their expertise, and their spa and making this happen for these truly deserving spouses.”