Carleton students, staff and local residents styled their hair for an honorable cause. The College held its fourth annual Cuts for Cancer program last Monday in the Great Hall. The program was organized by the ACT (Acting in the Community Together) Center. It was the final event in this year’s ACT month-long civic engagement series, “Society and Health: From Northfield to Nation”.
Local hair stylists and massage specialists volunteered their time and skills to help raise money for the Ted Mullin Memorial Fund. Suggested donations of $20 and $10 were the prices set for a haircut and a chair massage, respectively. ACT director Laura Riehle-Merrill stated that appointment slots were completely filled in less than a day after they were listed on the ACT webpage. An estimated 60 people got haircuts. Many participants also helped fight cancer’s indirect effects. Over 20 people donated their cut hair to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients losing their hair from chemotherapy. Locks of Love typically requires donated hair to be at least ten inches long. Some shaved their head to support others who fought cancer. Products such as wristbands and t-shirts honoring solidarity with cancer patients were also sold to raise money for the fund.
Several people who helped with Cuts for Cancer faced the disease on a personal level, whether through a friend or personal experience. One person who came to donate hair was Tari, a resident of Northfield. Tari is a 15-year survivor of acute myeloid leukemia.
“I just want to give others what’s been giving to me. That’s what life’s about… I’m just thankful for life,” she said.
Ted Mullin was a Carleton student and swimmer from the class of 2006 who died in September 2006 of sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer at the age of 22. The fund established in his name through the University of Chicago finances research for pediatric sarcoma. Mullin’s battle against cancer inspired many. The Carleton swimming team first organized the “Hour of Power,” an hour-long relay practice that raises money for the Mullin Fund in 2006. When the event was held for the third time last November, nearly 100 college swimming teams (including some from the Big East and Ivy League Conferences) committed to taking part in the event in their own pools to raise money for the fund.
Cuts for Cancer was first started at Carleton in Spring 2006 in support of Ted’s fight. Every year, several members of the swim team volunteer to help with the event including Dave Nonberg ’09, who has played a large role in coordinating the program for the last two years.
“It’s a really good solidarity event for (the team). The swim team is always really involved. Seeing the swim team mobilize behind that despite time passing is amazing.” said Cathy Gallin ’09, who helped organize the event.
Overall, about $2400 (including $250 donated by President Oden) was raised on Monday, the most ever in the program’s four-year history at Carleton. Liv Killeen ’10 and Marisa Fisher ’09 organized this year’s function with Carls Against Cancer, a group within ACT. Four hair styling businesses (all in Northfield unless specified): Buzz Salon, Great Clips, A. Renee, and Amazing Styles in Lonsdale donated stylists. The three massage specials who also helped with the event were Joel Ward, Candice Lautt, and Amy Morgan.
Lana Huberg, a stylist who volunteered from A. Renee, said, “I love it. This is my third year. It’s a great cause. I get to know the students and (it) makes the students lucky and happy (to have this program).”