On Monday, April 11, The Academy of the Holy Cross held its fourth annual Hair Donation Drive, in which students donated eight inches or more of their hair to make wigs for cancer patients. As part of the event this year, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell visited campus to share her experience as Miss America and about donating her own hair.
Holy Cross had 38 students donate their hair during the drive, which is organized by the Christian Service office. Students donated at least eight inches of hair, with many of them donating more. The donated hair was given to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which provides free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks.
The event began with an all-school assembly where Betty Cantrell spoke about her path to becoming Miss America. She shared her personal story about how the experience provided her with a much-needed scholarship to complete her education. Her message to the students was one of perseverance. Betty told the students to pursue their dreams and goals, no matter what obstacles might get in the way. She also shared about donating her hair in December 2015–something unusual for a Miss America to do. “Miss America is known for having long, beautiful, flowing hair!” she said. But she felt compelled to give of herself in this way. Following assembly, Betty posed for selfies and photos with students and posted about her visit on her Twitter and Instagram feeds.
As Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell is currently on a national tour to educate her audiences on her platform – Healthy Children, Strong America – encouraging children to make healthy choices and to stay physically active. She will also continue to entertain the nation with her remarkable vocal performances, as well as serve as National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
The students’ hair was cut by the owners of Eivind and Hans of Georgetown salon and spa. They have participated in the Holy Cross hair drive since its inception. Holy Cross current parent Hans Kalset and his father-in-law Eivind Bjerke, have generously donated their time for over 20 years to the cause of helping women with cancer look and feel good about themselves. Working with the organization Look Good Feel Better, Mr. Kalset and Mr. Bjerke train cosmetologists to provide skin care and beauty techniques to patients in hospitals undergoing cancer treatment. Additionally, they clean and restore donated wigs to be donated free of charge to patients in need through the organization EBeauty. They have both been recognized nationally for their generous efforts by organizations such as the American Cancer Society. During the assembly, Lisa Burris, Director of Look Good Feel Better spoke about the generosity of Mr. Kalset and Mr. Bjerke and congratulated the students for their act of generosity.