The event was in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program
Washington Township High School’s Students In Action hosted the annual “Township Makes the Cut” event on Friday, with a total of 42 participants either shaving their heads for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, or donating at least eight inches of hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program.
Of the participants, 25 cut their hair, with a requirement of no less than eight inches for Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program, to create wigs for cancer patients who have lost their hair. Stylists from Taylor’s Salon were on site to perform the cutting, as well as style the hair after the donations were made.
Senior Sarah Forsman personally benefitted from programs such as this, as she was born with alpha-mannosidosis, a genetic disorder that can cause problems with many organs and tissues in the body. Forsman said although her disorder isn’t cancer, donating her hair was a way of giving back to those who did it for her when she was younger.
“I participated because I had a bone marrow transplant when I was younger and I was given a wig,” Forsman said. “I wanted to give back.”
Chemistry teacher Leighanne Hall had approximately 15 inches of hair donated to the cause. For the third year participating, she said she purposefully grew her hair long so she could donate to the program each year.
“I’ve had students with cancer that have lost all of their hair and relatives as well,” Hall said. “Anything I can do, it’s really just letting your hair grow. It’s not hard to do.”
Seventeen attendees had their heads shaved by Robert Timmons, of Timmons Barber Shop, for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, showing support for children battling cancer who have lost their hair.
One student who had his hair shaved was sophomore Anthony Zappalorta, who said he participated in honor of his mother who recently passed away from breast cancer.
“People have such an emotional connection to their hair, another reason cancer can be so traumatic,” said Josh Aronovitch, Students In Action community advisor. “This gives people a chance to know a fraction of what that feels like.”
Although participation was free, the four-hour event raised more than $2,000.
“This is something special that we want to keep going because of not only the community service aspect, but it’s working with children, cancer organizations and raising awareness for the making of the wigs,” SIA faculty co-advisor Lindsay Radziak said. “It’s wonderful and an awesome opportunity for our school to come together so they can all join in on something so important.”