By Suzanne Laurent
LONDONDERRY — Londonderry High School's pep rally organizer Steve Juster was overcome with surprise Friday morning as he was handed the 2012 Class Gift.
"It's a tradition for all graduating seniors to give a gift to the school," class president Ayman Usmani said. "It's a way to leave their mark."
Calling him, "Mr. Lancer Nation," pep rally team member Alyssa Boccia, the class officers and rest of the pep rally team presented Juster with a wooden plaque inscribed with the years and the number of what he calls "angels" who donated their hair each year to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign.
"There's plenty or room to add more," Alyssa said, handing Juster the plaque. "Mr. Juster, you embody the spirit of our school."
To say Juster was a little flabbergasted would be an understatement.
"We have Mr. Juster speechless for the first time in history," said assistant principal Art Psaledas.
Juster has been organizing the annual event since the winter pep rally of 2007. Since that first year, which drew national attention on "Good Morning America," 975 students, staff and some family members have had their locks cut during the massive haircutting event. Pantene works with Hair-U-Wear to make wigs for cancer patients of all ages.
The Class of 2012 also presented Juster with a check for $2,012.
"We will use this to pay for the Pantene Beautiful Lengths T-shirts," Juster said.
Each year, each donor gets an "I pledged" T-shirt and another T-shirt on the day of the event.
"We give both shirts out free to each donor," Juster said. "With 232 angels last year, we ended up doing a lot of asking for donations and fundraising. This will lift that burden."
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