Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) Students and staff at Columbus Catholic had their hair cut for a good cause on Wednesday afternoon.
The 6th Cutting for Cause saw 41 students, staff, and parents participate, nine donating ahead of time. The event started six years ago in memory of principal Barbara Billings, who passed away from ovarian cancer on May 4, 2011.
“My daughters and I have donated our hair for quite some time,” said organizer Mandy Volkman, high school English teacher. “She lost all her hair during treatment. Right before she passed, my daughters and I had donated again in honor of her.”
Over a year later, Volkman was preparing to donate again when her students expressed an interest in donating their own hair as well. Thus, Cutting for a Cause was born.
“We had such a great response and so many kids came up to me afterward saying how they wanted to do it next year as soon as their hair was long enough, that it just kind of went from there,” she said.
Hair will be donated to the nonprofit Children with Hair Loss. As of last year, 174 donors have given an estimated 1,565 inches and 550 ponytails to the cause. Students who participate range from high school all the way down to preschool. This year’s event even saw three male donors.
“The response has been great,” Volkman said. “When I first did it, I did not think it would take off like it’s had.”
Local salons volunteer their time to do the cutting and even offer free appointments afterwards to fix and style the hair. Though Volkman still donates in honor of her friend and mentor, she said students are free to specify who they are donating for.
If someone’s hair wasn’t quite long enough to participate yet, no worries.
“As long as we have enough interest, I will always organize it,” said Volkman.