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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2015 5 years ago

St. Brendan's students donate hair to Locks of Love

by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

The school’s first event for the national charity was held March 16. 

Allison Peck’s fourth-grade classmates surrounded her with cheers and a continuous round of applause under a pavilion at St. Brendan’s Catholic School Tuesday afternoon. Shouts of “You got this” and “Go Allison” might make an outsider believe she was running a marathon or going for a hula hoop record. But no, Allison Peck was cutting off 10 inches of her hair.

This dramatic haircut wasn’t just a fashion statement. The fourth-grader was the first in line to donate her hair to those who needed it more through the non-profit organization Locks of Love.

“The other people really need hair because they have cancer,” she said. “It’s hard because they want to have hair too but they have to cut it all off.”

Students Lindsay Peck and Lexie James, along with residents Mary Burke and Robert Palmisano, signed up to cut their hair. Social Studies Teacher Lizanne Swaringen said it’s important for their students to get a firsthand experience on what charity really looks like.

“We can talk to kids all day long about helping,” she said. “We’re really service-oriented here. But unless you make it real to them, it doesn’t mean as much. A big part of what we do at our school is to get kids involved in service projects.”

During the event, the students that weren’t cutting their hair helped with a bake sale to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Salon Euphoria stylists Kathleen McNerny and Laura Squires donated their time to cut the students’ hair.

“I thought it would be fun, and it’s a great cause,” McNerny said. “We have clients that have went through cancer and wear wigs.”

Emily Carnes, an 18-year-old from Seabreeze High School who has been battling breast cancer, visited St. Brendan’s March 15 to talk to the girls about her experiences in wearing a wig.

“The kids and their hair,” Swaringen said. “It’s really hard to part with hair. For them to set this up, and to see what other people are going through, it’s important. They have a lot of give, and they need to learn that when they’re young.”

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