The Solanco High School gymnasium looked like a makeshift hair salon Tuesday afternoon as two teachers and several male students got their heads shaved by members of the Student Senate in front of the entire school during an assembly to celebrate the school having raised more than $5,000 in the "Pennies for Patients" campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
This is the first year in the past three years that the Student Senate has been sponsoring the Pennies for Patients fund-raiser that the school has reached its goal. The first year they raised $4,000, last year $3,826, and this year a whopping $5,279.
"We really didn't think we were going to reach our goal," said Breanna Kreider, a junior who is president of Student Senate. "We're all really excited about it."
Kreider and Alicia Brower, treasurer, dyed their hair pink for the day, as did several other students and teachers, who commited to doing so if the school was able to reach its goal. Those students included Dustin Collins, Rachel Besancon, Arianna Dimetriou, Angie Nichol, Katie Good, Kim Ninos, Brandon Calhoun and Nicole Hodson.
Teachers Kristin Testerman, Dawn Kreider, Ashley Dodson, Tina Nolt and Michele Jordan, who is advisor to Student Senate, also dyed their hair shades of pink, red and purple and were greeted with applause and cheers from the students when they took center stage.
With Jordan Swisher as emcee for the assembly, the Student Senate president handed a check for the amount raised to Nikki Shingle, campaign manager for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, who told the students that more than 747,000 people are living with blood cancers in America and in 2005, more than 114,000 cases have been diagnosed.
"People of all ages are impacted by this dreadful disease," she said. "Leukemia kills more people under 18 than any other disease."
Shingle also told the students that the top school last year raised just over $6,000.
"I have a feeling Solanco could be at the very top in South Central Pennsylvania," she said.
Nate Campbell's freshman advisory class raised the most money, $700, so they will be treated to Domino's Pizza and certificates for Turkey Hill ice cream.
After a student Barbershop Quartet sang some songs, math teacher Chris Rachor told the students he is not going to get his hair cut until the students graduate in June.
English teacher Pete Karpew and physical education teacher and soccer coach Pete Shellenberger both had their heads shaved by Abby Bauermaster, Student Senate vice president, and Kelsey Swope, secretary.
Karpew said he decided to do it because "The first year we didn't win and it's for a good cause." He said the last time he had his head shaved was when he was in the Army in 1991-91.
Shellenberger said he hasn't had his head shaved since he was in ninth grade.
"I honestly didn't think they'd raise the money," he said. "It's going to a good cause."
Senior Zach Ebersole, Brandon Elvey and sophomores Henry Glackin, David Truitt, Robert Fisher, Derek Ewaka and Shane Tabella, also got their heads shaved.
Truitt said he did it because "Hair will always grow back and it's for a good cause."
"It seemed like a fun thing to do," said Glackin.