Hair for Hope 2013 at WHS

by Gloria Lavoie

Windham High School’s gymnasium was filled with hope last week.  The entire student body filled the bleachers to support the school’s fourth annual fundraiser, “Hair for Hope.”  Teachers and Coaches wore shirts that read ‘I bleed pink” and ‘I’m in it to end it.’  Their hope is that a cure will be found for cancer.  The school raised awareness and over 3,000 on this day with all profits being donated to Children’s Hospital and to help

C.J. DiPrima, a 2012 Windham High School graduate who is undergoing treatment after his own cancer diagnosis.

Dean of Mathematics Mary Anderson, along with her advisory planned the event which began with the school’s chorus’ rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Hero.”  An emotional video was presented, in which a student held a handmade sign saying, “I cut my hair because my Nana wore a wig due to cancer.”

The entire school counted down from 10, and the hair cutting event began.  Twelve girls donated 8 inches or more of their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that donates hair to be made into wigs for people who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.  Inspired by the Boston Bruins’ Cuts for a Cause event, over 40 boys combined their “Buzz for Bucks” fundraiser with today’s event.  With the help of the Bruins Ice Girls and team mascot “Blades,” the sound of buzzers filled the gymnasium as teachers, coaches and students donated their efforts to rid the world of cancer.  “Anything for a good cause,” said girls soccer coach Matt Bryant as “Blades” gave him a patchwork style buzz cut.

DiPrima attended the event with his girlfriend Lauren Pappalardo, a WHS Senior who also donated her hair for the cause.  “It is hard for me to get out (of the house) but I am feeling good.  I have my last treatment tomorrow.  It is bittersweet.  Everyone has been awesome.  The support has been amazing.  I can’t thank everyone enough,” said DiPrima.

In closing, Anderson expressed her appreciation to everyone who was involved with this successful fundraising event.  She asked the entire student body to rise and repeat, “If you knew me, you would know, I’m in it to end it.”