Hundreds gathered in the Londonderry High School Gymnasium this morning to support their peers, children, and even parents, as inches of hair fell away. Normally held as a pep rally, the school postponed the pep rally and, instead, hosted an emotional Celebration of Giving Ceremony. The ceremony, now in its fifth year, has become part of Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
This year’s ceremony brought a record number of donors. Over 200 people sported the blue “Got Scissors?” t-shirts. Several of the donors were Londonderry High School students who have either known someone, or knew of someone, who has faced one sort of cancer or another. Many have lost family members and close friends to the disease. A few were lucky to call their loved ones “survivors.”
Krysten Gosztyla said, as a freshman at Londonderry High School, that she pretended her mother’s breast cancer wasn’t real. Now, as a senior, she donated her hair in honor of her mother, who was chosen by Krysten to cut her ponytail.
A tenth grader, Emily Balke, decided to donate her hair, despite never having short hair in her life, after her aunt and cousin lost their hair from cancer treatments.
In honor of Londonderry High School Student Rebecca Tenney, who lost her life to viral meningitis earlier this year, both Becca’s mother and sister were in attendance at today’s ceremony. The Tenney family has donated over 44 inches of hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths cause. Last year, Becca donated at the high school’s pep rally, and this year her sister was there to continue the tradition. After Becca’s mother said a short speech, she gave the official “3,2,1, Cut!”
For more images of today’s Celebration of Giving, visit our Darkroom!