'Hair-Raiser Extravaganza' raises money to create wigs for young cancer patients

Chuck Miller/Staff Photographer Rudyard freshman Jesse Ryer laughs after getting her hair cut by Midland resident Jenna Nunamaker at the Pink Hearts Extravaganza Thursday night at Sweeney Hall.

Eight inches of hair can go a long way.

The Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center held its first Pink Heart "Hair-Raiser Extravaganza" Tuesday night in the basement of Sweeney Hall raised money and collected donations of hair. About 60 people attended.

The money and hair received will be used to create wigs for young female cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. About 80 to 90 people attended, 20 of whom were donors who contributed more than 200 inches of hair in total.

Peer Mentor for the Michigan Service Scholars Program and Waverly senior Emily Nuss said the idea for the "hair-raiser" came from the MSSP when students were thinking of ways to complete 300 required community service hours.

"The turnout exceeded what I thought," Nuss said. "We've had a lot of people who were interested, and because of this, we will be able to donate about 20 wigs to the Pink Heart Fund."

The event offered music and refreshments, and for those who weren't ready to cut their hair, hair ribboning was available for $1 to benefit the cause as well.


Chuck Miller/Staff Photographer Midland resident Jenna Nunamaker cuts East Grand Rapids Junior Alyson Cole's hair at the Pink Hearts Extravaganza Thursday night at Sweeney Hall.

For Merrill sophomore Kayla Mikek, this wasn't her first time donating hair for a good cause.

"I've donated two times before," Mikek said. "I go through phases where I want short hair and then long hair, so I grow it out so I can donate it. Plus it just feels good knowing you're doing something to help someone else."

Allen Park senior Samantha Fleming donated her hair for the fourth time at the fundraiser.

"I started in eighth grade," Fleming said. "The reason I like to donate my hair is because I think of little kids who lose their hair, and as a girl, that's something really important, and so not having it anymore made me want to get rid of mine"


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