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Pink hair extensions help raise money

Sam Stryker | Sunday, October 4, 2009

For many, sporting a pink hairdo is a bold fashion statement reserved for rock stars and cartoon characters. That trend was bucked this past Friday by the Notre Dame community in support of the battle against breast cancer, as Crowley Music Hall hosted the “Race to Raise the Most for United Health Services.”

Pink hair extensions were sold for $10 and done by employees of Paradigm Salons. The event raised money for United Health Services to provide mammograms to women in St. Joseph’s County whose insurance does not cover the procedure or who cannot afford it.

Noelle Elliott, Publicity and Concert Coordinator said she wanted to devise a fundraiser that was unique and appealing to the Notre Dame community.

“You can show your support every day unlike a T-shirt or a bracelet and it goes with every outfit,” she said.

Elliot said the event was received very well, as 365 people signed up in two days. She said both men and women participated.

“Originally we ordered just 300 [hair extensions] but we ordered 100 more and they have been going like crazy,” she said.

Elliott said the extensions were made of real human hair from India and are curlable and washable.

“They want it to look nice and blend but be noticeable,” she said. “It’s removable and won’t hurt your hair.”

Many of the participants had their extensions put in as a show of support for family or friends who battled breast cancer.

“My aunt successfully beat breast cancer during her pregnancy so it’s a family topic,” freshman Hannah Reiser said. “It’s something little I can do.”

Others participated because the fundraiser was for a good cause with a fun twist.

“I thought it was a great fundraiser,” first-year law student Kendall Loebbaka said. “I haven’t been able to look in the mirror but I’m sure it looks awesome.”

Freshman Alyssa Dammann was able to view the end result shortly after participating and was thrilled with her pink locks.

“I love it!” she said. “I think it’s fun and for a good cause.”

The event struck a more personal chord for junior Sarah Ruszkowski, whose grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. She was looking forward to showing her family her new hairdo.

“[I plan to keep it] at least until I see my Grandma in Thanksgiving,” she said.