For the fourth year in a row, Canisius College accepted the Locks of Love/Bald for
Bucks Challenge! The event kicked off at 4 PM
in Palisano Pavilion on Thursday April 22nd.
The 25 participants could either donate their hair to Locks of
Love, Goin’ Bald for Bucks, or both causes.
Locks of Love,
a non-profit organization, creates hairpieces and hair prosthetics for “financially disadvantaged children in the United States
and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any
diagnosis,” according to its website. There are several guidelines for what types and
lengths of hair can be accepted. Ten participants contributed to Locks of Love.
Bald for Bucks program originated eight years ago. Anthony George, a
history teacher at Lake Shore High School in Angola, NY, inadvertently created
the Goin’ Bald for Bucks fundraiser.
George’s sister, Cathleen, was diagnosed with breast cancer in
1998 and endured chemotherapy and radiation, and then in 2000 underwent T-cell
replacement for a tumor. In 2002, Cathleen was diagnosed with a brain tumor and
again went through rounds of chemo and radiation. George decided to shave his
head to morally support his sister.
The students at Lake Shore were informed of Cathleen’s
situation, and said they would pay George to shave his head. In 2002, the students
raised $3,600, and the Goin’ Bald for Bucks fundraiser was born.
Over 30 schools in WNY, in addition to other schools and
colleges all over the nation, currently participate in Goin’ Bald for Bucks. All
money raised goes directly to research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. This year
at Canisius, 15 people donated to Goin’ Bald for Bucks. Others paid $10 to receive a haircut,
with the money being donated directly to Roswell Park. Many schools sponsor
events that offer the chance to donate to Locks of Love as well.
Canisius participants and sponsors donated a total of $3,300 approximately,
and 120 inches of hair, and in the past four years the college has raised over
$10,000 and contributed over 500 inches of hair. Since 2007, Canisius has participated
in the program “as a way for students to give
back/be men and women for others in a more personal way than just donating
money to a charity,” Canisius Associate Director of Campus Programming and
Leadership Development Katie Martoche said.
Haircuts were performed by students from Leon Studio One. Participants
were called up onto a small platform in groups of six, three for each cause. A
huge crowd of Canisius students, faculty and friends enthusiastically watched
and cheered on the participants.
Canisius junior Carrie Parsons committed to donate her hair to
both Locks of Love and Goin’ Bald for Bucks if
she could reach the seemingly impossible goal of $1,000. Parsons began raising
money on March 31st, and spread awareness about her mission on Facebook.
By April 16th, she exceeded her goal. Parsons contributed $1,295,
the highest overall donation for any participant.
Originally, Parsons’ motivation to donate stemmed from her grandfather’s
battle with cancer. But with the recent news of an aunt’s diagnosis with
cervical cancer, it became even more imperative to accomplish her goal.
Parsons had mixed feelings in the hours before her head would be
shaved. “All day I was getting worked up over it,” said Parsons. “But when I got to Palisano, and began to see all the
people coming out to support me and this great cause, I went from nervous to
excited and from that to proud.”
At the Locks of Love/Bald for Bucks Challenge, David Nally (’10)
spontaneously elected to shave his head after friend Matthew Lindenberg (’10)
began collecting money upon Nally’s arrival. In a short fifteen minutes,
Lindenberg facilitated the collection of $104. Nally proudly took part in the
Goin’ Bald for Bucks Challenge. According to Nally, Lindenberg’s efforts and
the enthusiastic support of peers, faculty and staff provided the final push
for him to donate.
Lead Image: Parsons’ haircut, donated to Locks of Love and Goin’ Bald for Bucks
Second Image: Carrie Parsons (’11) before her haircut