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Girls to cut hair in support of charity

Irena Zajickova | Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Female Notre Dame students thinking about changing their look might want to think twice about getting a short haircut, according to sophomore Catherine Soler, the president of the sophomore class council.

Next spring, the sophomore class council will be holding an event around the time of the spring Blue-Gold football game, tentatively named “The Bald and the Beautiful: Notre Dame Fights Cancer,” to benefit the St. Baldrick’s foundation and Pantene Great Lengths, a program similar to Locks of Love.

The freshman class council held a similar event last year, but Soler hopes to expand the event to raise more even more money than last year’s event did.

“Last year the freshman class council put on a two-day event for the St. Baldrick’s foundation. We had about 140 people shave their heads,” Soler said. “It was a big success and everyone loved it. This year we’re doing the same thing but expanding the event.”

Soler said a fundamental part of broadening the event’s scope was to get more women involved, which is why she wants to get out the message that girls should put off cutting their hair until the event.

“If we’re going to do the Pantene Great Lengths program, you need [to donate] eight inches of hair, so we can’t have people cutting their hair and not having enough,” Soler said.

Soler said she hopes if enough women listen to this advice, the event will be able to pull in substantially more money than last year.

“We’re really hoping that by getting girls involved we’ll raise a lot more funds,” Soler said.
Last year, the event raised $25,000 and Soler said this year’s goal is to double that amount.

Among the other goals for the event are to get more campus groups involved. Soler said she already has organizations such as the Army ROTC and football team who want to participate, as well as individual residence halls such as Duncan and Lyons.

“This year, we want to make it more interactive and get more Notre Dame students involved,” Soler said.

Tiffany Robak, a senior who shaved her head for the event last year and raised almost $4,000, said she thinks students who participate in the hair-donation event will benefit not only cancer patients but also themselves.

“I actually thought shaving my head was the best thing I’ve ever done. I raised a lot of money and it brought a lot of awareness to service work in general,” Robak said. “Also it was really good for myself. I realized what cancer patients had to go through when they lose their hair.”

To publicize the event, Soler hopes to contact local news outlets to get media coverage, as well as attempt to set a Guinness World Record for most hair donated, if enough students participate.

Soler’s goal in raising publicity is to open the event to members of the South Bend community as well, and invite people who live in the city but are not necessarily associated with Notre Dame to shave their heads.

Soler said she hopes students who see the event in progress will also be inspired to participate, even if they were not originally planning on doing so.

“I think that one of the big things that made it successful last year was that it’s a really fun event and you feel a lot of camaraderie,” Soler said. “It’s contagious and you want to be a part of it. I think that makes it unique because you see that you’re doing a good thing, you see that you’re helping.”