, Derry, New Hampshire

January 16, 2014

Hair chamber: LHS hosts cancer donation event

Some 200 people donate locks for cancer patients

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — The ponytails were tied and the cutting was about to begin.

Londonderry High School hosted its eighth annual Pantene Beautiful Lengths “Day of Giving” event Jan. 10. About 200 donors, including students, teachers and community members, grew out their locks to support those battling cancer.

The ponytails collected will go support Pantene and the Hair-U-Wear program and be used to make wigs for cancer patients of all ages through the American Cancer Society.

Those waiting to have their hair cut were flanked by friends and family members. Many had stories about why they were donating, including supporting friends and family members who are battling the disease.

Londonderry High teacher and event organizer Steve Juster said the rally was to celebrate the program’s “angels” while sharing stories of survival and hope.

Myranda Brodsky, an LHS graduate, shaved off all her hair to support the cause.

Now a student at the University of New Hampshire, Brodsky collected donations on her web page and had tallied $5,600 so far. She wanted to return to her alma mater to have her hair sheared.

“I want to inspire others to help as well,” she said. “And the support here has been overwhelming. Thank you, LHS, for welcoming me back here to do this at my home.”

Once the “3, 2, 1” countdown was given, it only took a few moments for the ponytails to come off.

Local hair stylists helped donors style their shorter hair once the cutting was finished.

Through the years, the rally has gained national attention, including being featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 2007.

Since then, more than 2,000 donations have come from Londonderry to help those battling cancer.

Students also were recognized for their efforts supporting other causes, including local food pantries, pediatric cancer patients, Toys for Tots and other community efforts.