BHS girls will shave their heads for charity (even though prom is just a few weeks away)
By Jennifer Eisenbart
It’s been about two years since Burlington High School junior Micah Gebel last had her hair short.
Right now, her brown locks tumble well past her shoulders – the same as her friend, Ani Pettis, though Pettis hasn’t been growing hers quite that long.
But the two friends will see all that hair disappear Saturday, as they participate in St. Baldrick’s Day 2013 – an event that promotes fundraising for childhood cancer by people volunteering to shave their heads.
Far from being nervous, both Pettis and Gebel can’t wait.
“We’re counting down minutes,” Gebel said. Pettis added, “I’ve been looking for apps to count down the time until we do it.”
The two will travel to the closest St. Baldrick’s Day site Saturday – Round Lake Beach in Illinois – and will first pull their hair into pigtails so the hair can be saved for Locks for Love.
Then, what hair is left will be shaved off.
It’s a daring step for anyone, but even more so for a pair of teenage girls. As Pettis explained, she has prom and graduation coming up.
“I had an idea with what I wanted to do with my hair and stuff,” Pettis explained. “Now, I’m just going to rock the shaved head.”
Gebel came up with the idea of doing the fundraiser, and pulled Pettis in about two months ago.
Both are excited about the chance of giving children with cancer better treatments and more time through funding quality research.
The volunteer-driven charity has been funding research for childhood cancer for years.
Pettis, whose grandfather died of cancer, said he had a good life – and time with his family.
“Kids don’t have that time,” Pettis said. “I think it’s a really good cause.”
So far, Gebel has raised about $1,800, while Pettis has raised $800.
“My original goal was like $100,” said Pettis. Gebel added, “By the next day (she) told me she’d raised that.”
With Saturday quickly approaching, the two have dealt with more disbelief from their classmates than any teasing.
“They say, ‘Are you really going to shave your head?’” Gebel explained. “I’m like, ‘No, we’re just joking. We have all these posters and money and stuff for nothing.”
Both have jars for donations at the high school. For more information on the event, go to www.stbaldricks.org.