ENUMCLAW, Washington (STPNS) -- There was a roar of excitement cutting through the air of Black Diamond Elementary School?s gymnasium Friday afternoon during the Black Diamond Gives Back assembly.

Students at the school were learning from community members about how their acts of kindness can make a difference in the world.

On stage during the gathering, 30 students, teachers and community members were demonstrating the giving process by donating 10 to 12 inches of their hair to Wigs For Kids or Locks of Love, nonprofit organizations that collect human hair and make wigs to give, free or charge, to kids going through chemotherapy and other experiences where hair loss is a result.



The wigs help children restore their self-esteem and confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers, said Raeann Webb, a Black Diamond parent who was organizing the event.

The cut-a-thon started when Webb was musing out loud one day about donating hair and Black Diamond third-grade student Savannah Norton picked up on it and ran with it.

Hairdressers and community members from Black Diamond, Enumclaw, Maple Valley and Kent came to participate in the event.

Fourth-grade student Lilly Fuentes donated her long locks and so did her grandmother Anita Handelsman, whose long ponytail had been perfectly preserved since 1945. Handelsman had it cut when she was 13 years old and had kept it neatly tucked away until Friday.

Rorey Glen, also a fourth-grade student and her mother Kenya donated their red tresses together.

?It feels weird,? Rorey said playing with her stylish short cut.

Webb said it takes about 20 to 30 ponytails to create a wig.

Students at Thunder Mountain Middle School in Enumclaw had the same plan, but for different reasons. Their project started three years ago when Thunder Mountain teacher Lisa Horton was going through cancer treatment.

?I learned a couple of things during this time,? Horton said ? treatment is tough, doctors are wonderful, students are compassionate, friends are invaluable and hair is just hair.

She and students discussed her treatments and ?hair? a good deal during the ordeal.

At the beginning of treatment, Horton said, she made the decision that if she lost her hair she would wear a hat.

It wasn?t until she was in the hospital with clumps of hair falling out of her head that she realized, ?losing one?s hair to an illness like cancer is not about vanity but about being the ?one more thing that I have no control over!?

?After treatment, I said that I wanted to grow my hair so I could donate it to Locks for Love.?

She invited her students to join the cause. So there, under the sharp scissors of Enumclaw High graduate and former Horton student now stylist, Megan Mick-Woods, Nikki Wilson, Katie Holland, Katherine Silva Velarde, Mikayla Blockinger, Abbey Overbay, Macarena Abad, Kara Halsen, Claire Hanson, Erin Beinke, Tiffany Green, Hailey Hooppaw, Kelsey Moore, Mariah Weems and Cassie Schmidt joined Horton.

Jeri Freeburg, a Sunrise Elementary School teacher, and Drew Overbay and Christina Overbay, cut their hair earlier and passed it on.

Those who participated donated about 25 feet of hair to Locks of Love.