ROXBURY, NJ – Many young girls wouldn’t dream of cutting their long hair, a prized element of their image, an attribute they nurture.
Ask their brothers. Between the blow-drying, the conditioning, the straightening and the general fussing, a long-haired young girl can tie-up a family bathroom for extended periods.
Roxbury 5th Grader Alexandra Porter had fairly long, brown hair until about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Then, with a shrug, she had it removed.
Porter, 11, was the only girl to participate in the annual St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event that took place at Lincoln-Roosevelt School. Her decision prompted cheers and applause, but Porter didn’t make a big deal about it.
In an interview shortly before hair stylist Janet Stone of Buzzwerks in Blairstown began snipping, Porter said she knows something about her hair: It grows back quickly.
She also said she knows she’s fortunate in that regard; some girls – especially those undergoing cancer treatment - lose their hair altogether, she noted. That’s why she not only had her tresses removed as part of the St. Baldrick’s event, which raises money for childhood cancer research, but also decided to have them donated to Wigs for Kids.
“My sister had it done last year,” Porter said. “I wanted to donate it to all the kids who can’t grow their hair.”
In addition to donating her hair to the organization, Porter raised $300 in donations for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, said Lincoln-Roosevelt Assistant Principal Chris Argenziano. He said the event raised about $11,000.
Lincoln-Roosevelt physical education teacher Jim McDermott, dressed in traditional Irish garb, coordinated the fundraiser. He’s done so for a decade with nine of them taking place at Lincoln-Roosevelt.
“We’re now at $215,000 over the nine years,” McDermott said. He said 65 youngsters volunteered to have their heads shaved on Thursday.
Porter’s parents, Don and Caroline Porter, watched as their daughter’s locks were carefully removed and bagged for shipment to Wigs for Kids. “We just kind of raise them to do the right thing and to try to help out others,” Don Porter said.
The hair cutters who donated their time for Thursday's event included:
- Janet Stone of Buzzwerks
- Kelly McNicholas of Atelier Salon
- Cynthia Mardin of Buzzwerks
- Nick Roman of Fresh Cutz
- Jennifer Weintraub
- Suzanne Mendonca of Via Veneto Salon
- Kathy Benemento of Dominick's Salon
- Lisa Groschopp of Salon Deja Vu
- Teresa Webb of The Spa at Randolph
- Tiffani DiGennaro of Nino's Expressions
- Lisa Baud of Nino's Expressions