By Tyler Stafford, Isabella Randazzo, and Julia Ruggieri
MAY 29, 2018
On May 3, St. Thomas Aquinas High School (STA) held its third annual STA Makes the Cut. This is an event where students and teachers donate their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that provides wigs, made with real hair, to cancer patients, free of charge. Girls must be able to donate at least eight inches of undyed hair in order to be eligible. Pantene Beautiful Lengths also accepts $8 donations, in lieu of a hair donation.
Three years ago, this tradition was started by Kate McSoley (Class of 2017), during her junior year at STA. This year was the first time that junior Erin McSoley, Kate’s younger sister, organized the event without her sister’s assistance. Erin “donated in honor of [her] mom who fought cancer for six years.” Most of the girls who donated their hair had done so to honor or remember a loved one who battled cancer.
A major part of the event, that has been featured each year is a banner that reads “We donated in honor of … .” Erin said that the banner was created when the event started and those who gift their hair continue the tradition of adding the names of cancer victims. Freshman Ashley Williams, who donated 8 ½ inches of her hair, said, “It was for a great cause, and hopefully I’ll be able to do it next year.”
This year, STA Makes the Cut was a wild success. The 64 ponytails donated this year were an exciting increase from last year’s total of 56. According to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, it takes anywhere from eight to 15 ponytails to make a wig. As Erin McSoley put it, “. . . the wigs created with our donations give strength and hope to those receiving them.” This new tradition is going strong, and the STA community hopes for even more participants next year.