Karla Espinoza and Sara Garritano participate in Niles New Tech’s Beautiful Lengths ceremony Friday. Submitted photo
Karla Espinoza and Sara Garritano participate in Niles New Tech’s Beautiful Lengths ceremony Friday. Submitted photo

Archived Story

New Tech students donate toward good cause

Published 9:28am Monday, April 1, 2013

By Brady Swathwood
Niles New Tech student
Special to Leader Publications

On Friday, Niles New Tech held its first Beautiful Lengths ceremony where one facilitator decided to donate her hair to be turned into a wig for those battling cancer. For about one week, learners were encouraged to donate money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, for research to find a cure.

The mastermind behind this was facilitator April Payne.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to give back to women that are enduring one of the toughest battles of their lives,” Payne said. “My aunt is currently going through this battle. It’s a way I can honor her and others who are facing cancer.”

Her story was so inspiring six other learners decided to step up and take on the role of having their hair donated as well.

Freshman Madisyn Boettcher was one of those inspired to donate.

“My grandpa passed away from cancer two years ago, and seeing him without hair was hard for him and other people, and I know it’s harder for women to deal with so I wanted to donate my hair for them.”

Boettscher said she was nervous but knew her hair was going to a priceless cause.

After one week, Niles New Tech raised more than $1,300 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Payne said she was happy about the results.

“I am so proud of the learners,” she said. “They took this to a whole new level. I had no idea we would have girls who would want to step up to donate their hair and their commitment to wanting to give back has been incredibly inspiring.”

When it was time for the hair to be cut, there were some tense moments.

When it was off, it was nothing but smiles and happy faces not only from the seven who donated hair, but a standing ovation from the Niles New Tech body showing its support.

Kennedy Kelley said she was very nervous and misses her hair, but she kept a smiling face knowing that it will grow back and she did it for a great purpose.

“I think people should be able to feel beautiful when fighting the battle,” Sara Garritano said.

Payne is planning on another event in October to raise money and donate more hair.

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