Clipped for good cause


First Posted: 6/2/2009

DALLAS TWP. – Some students and staff at Dallas Middle School helped cancer patients on Monday by getting their hair cut.

Danielle Mullery, left, from Donn Michael’s Salon in Wilkes-Barre gets ready to cut seventh-grader Krista Zimmerman’s hair for the Dallas Middle School Ponytail Drive on Monday morning. Ponytails will be donated to the Pantene Beautiful Links Campaign to create wigs for the American Cancer Society.

Bill Tarutis / For The Times Leader

A lot of hair – 72 ponytails worth of hair, to be exact.

The Ponytail Drive was the brainchild of English teacher MaryKate Stauffer and math teacher Kathy Dolan.

Stauffer said 28 middle school students and eight staffers participated in the event, along with hair stylists from Snips N Tips in Dallas, Donn Michael’s, JCPenney Salon in Wilkes-Barre Township and a few friends and relatives of students who also are stylists.

“We presented it to the student body in September. Any student that wanted to participate committed to growing his or her hair the entire school year,” Stauffer said.

The students couldn’t dye their hair or do any major styling, Stauffer said. “They were pretty much limited to trims in order to maintain the integrity of their hair.”

The participants’ locks were donated to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Campaign to make wigs for the American Cancer Society.

Each participant had enough hair to make up two ponytails each.

And at an average of six ponytails needed to make one wig, the participants were able to help create 12 wigs for cancer patients, Stauffer said.

Stauffer said many of the participants were motivated by having family members or friends who were affected by cancer.

Each participant got a T-shirt they wore the first Friday of each month and a bracelet donated by the Pay it Forward Foundation as ways to keep them motivated and not give in to the urge to get their hair cut.

Jake Carr, an eighth-grade student from Dallas, said he was motivated to participate because he lost two grandmothers to cancer.

Carr said he had long hair since third grade and grew it even longer for the project. But he plans on keeping his new short style for a while.

He’s glad he was able to help cancer patients. “I think it will make them happy that someone cares about them,” he said.

Megan Johnson, an eighth-grade student from Trucksville, also had long hair for as long as she could remember.

Johnson said she participated because “I wanted to help kids that have cancer.”

And she would do it again.

“It feels like I’m giving something back to the community,” she said.

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