From Our Editors
Charleen "Char" Gagliardi owes her life to dry cleaning. In 1937, her parents bought a red bungalow on McHenry Avenue and opened up Deluxe Cleaners. The business kept Char's dinner plate full and her wardrobe natty as a youth, and it became her bread and butter 40 years later, when she left her career as a teacher to continue her parent's legacy. With the help of her husband, Carl, Char built a laundry room and initiated free pickup and delivery service, and the couple joined the Lions Club to share their work ethic and the free wattage emanating from their luminous smiles with the community.
Char and Carl now watch proudly as their daughter, Pam, follows a familiar path to happiness. Pam began learning the ins and outs of Deluxe Cleaners when she was 13. She has since modernized its gadgets with the support of her husband, and she designed an invisible fairy-wing steamer at the behest of her three children. Three generations of know-how inform their technique, which relies on petroleum-based solvent to clean fine garments and household textiles such as rugs and bedding without damaging the environment.