LONDONDERRY — Miranda Marchetti clutched a plastic bag and waited for the cutting to begin.
Two long ponytails were hanging from the Londonderry High School senior’s head as her friends sat behind her to cheer her on.
Those friends would be cutting Miranda’s hair.
“I trust them,” she said. “These are all my best friends.”
Miranda was one of 169 donors participating in the school’s seventh annual Pantene Beautiful Lengths “Day of Giving” event Jan. 11. Students, teachers and community members cut their hair to support those battling cancer.
The ponytails collected will go support Pantene and the Hair-U-Wear program making wigs for cancer patients of all ages through the American Cancer Society.
“Everyone sitting in these stands has created this day,” Londonderry High teacher and event organizer Steve Juster said at the rally. “For all of you, this is your day.”
Juster calls the donors his “angels” and shared stories of hope and survival that inspired people to grow their hair for a good cause.
Some students were donating their hair in honor of family members who battled cancer. Others wanted to somehow make a difference in someone’s life.
Senior Serina Brenner was a repeat donor.
Her mother Chris, a breast cancer survivor, sat nearby, flanked by many of Serina’s friends who wanted to be part of the experience.
Alana Fanaritis lost her father to cancer recently and had her mother, Mona, in the crowd to cheer her on as she donated her hair again.
“Aly was one of our original ‘angels,’” Juster said. “She told me she wanted her mother to come today to see the sacrifice these angels are making to comfort people suffering in the fight of their lives.”
Noah Paradis was one of only two young men donating their hair. He sat on the floor, waiting for his long locks to be cut for one reason only.