Cutting hair for a good cause

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By Jennifer Sandy / Staff Writer

Cosmetology students styling and cutting hair (Edward Diaz / Asst. Photo Editor )

By Jennifer Sandy / Staff Writer

Riverside City College’s cosmetology department and the Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern California joined forces April 2 in a Haircut-A-Thon, to raise money for the foundation and gather hair to make wigs for children who have lost their own while undergoing chemotherapy.

Cosmetology students stood out on the corner of Olivewood Avenue with signs around their necks advertising the event.

 “Basically the community is coming out and supporting children who have cancer,” Stephanie Avila said.

“They’re either shaving their head, donating twelve inches of hair or more so we can make wigs for kids, and then if they don’t want to cut off too much they can also just get a regular trim and still show their support of the kids,” Avila said.

Those who came for a haircut had their hair washed by RCC’s beginning cosmetology students, had their ponytail cut off or their head shaved by a child volunteer, and then had their hair styled by advanced cosmetology students.

“It’s actually a really good feeling,” Thalia Gonzales said. “I think everybody should do it.”

An 8-year-old leukemia patient, who identified herself only as Alondra, shaved the head of Michael Cook, the Riverside firefighter who founded the Haircut-A-Thon 8 years ago.

“I wanted to help,” Alondra said.

Cook started the Haircut-A-Thon when his friend’s son passed away of leukemia.

“It worked out real well,” Cook said.

“We raised $5,000 in the first year. In the past 6 years we’ve raised over $30,000 for the kids,” Cook said.

All the money raised went to the Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern California, and the students involved and did not receive class credit.

“I love it,” student teacher Judy Jacklin said. “I’ve had to sign in all the students and put them in their SMA’s, that’s their sanitary maintenance areas, and get them ready for their clients.”

The advanced students were well prepared for the task at hand, as many had to even out the jagged ends of long hair that had been unequally cut.

“Nobody really does this stuff,” Cook said.

“So we’re hoping the event continues because it’s just not fair. You know, the kids lose their hair and its part of their identity, for me it’s just vanity. So this is just a way for them to know that somebody else cares besides their family,” said Cook.

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