BY RACHEL ADKINS
FOR THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
ASHLAND Four Russell students sat in the styling chairs at Identity Salon on Thursday as they volunteered to have their long locks chopped off.
Their goal wasn’t to have a new look for the summer, but instead they had a greater reason that would benefit other children who suffer from hair loss through a nonprofit organization called Wigs for Kids.
The students — Maleigha Baldridge, Lillian Tompkins, Charley Parsons and Elizabeth Salyers — vary in ages from Russell Primary up to Russell High School.
Tompkins, a rising sixthgrader at Russell-McDowell Intermediate School, came up with the initial idea to donate her own hair to the organization and wanted to give other students the opportunity to join in, said Russell-McDowell guidance counselor Beth Westenhofer, who assisted Tompkins in spreading the word across the schools.
“She wanted my help to type up a letter that went to other students in district. She made a video to tell about it as well,” she said.
Each student had to have at least a 10 inch ponytail to donate their hair, which in turn will be used to create a wig.
Identity stylists Dustin Jones Tina Goad volunteered their time on Thursday to help the students.
Westenhofer, who was at the salon, talked about the experience, saying it was nice to witness the students’ excitement, noting they were also able to share with other customers why they were cutting their hair.
Westenhofer referred to Tompkins’ campaign, saying Russell-McDowell promotes leadership among the students.
“We really encourage for them to participate in leadership projects and service projects,” she said.
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