LULING – Kathleen Guinnane was scheduled to get a $4,000 hair cut this weekend, but coronavirus social distancing mandates mean she’ll have to reschedule it. But whenever it takes place, her friends and family are excited to pitch in for the cost.
In fact, it’s the second time the Lakewood Elementary School librarian has asked for help in getting such a pricey chop.
“I’m shaving my head to raise money for childhood cancer research,” Guinnane said. “It’s been seven years and many haircuts since the last time I shaved my head at a St. Baldrick’s event, and I’m ready to help kick cancer’s butt by raising money to go bald again.”
According to their website, St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research. The charity encourages volunteers to fundraise and then ultimately shave their heads to raise awareness for childhood cancers.
Guinnane first went under the razor in 2013 for the cause, a move that she said was inspired by her desire to do whatever she could to help.
“I can’t find a cure for cancer myself, but this is one thing I realized I can do,” she said, adding her family and friends were initially shocked but ultimately supportive of her decision.
Well, almost all of her family. While one of her grandmothers donated money and was excited, Guinnane said another one wasn’t as enthusiastic.
“She said, ‘There’s got to be something else you can do to raise money,” Guinnane remembered with a laugh.
Having raised over $4,000 the first time she shaved her head, Guinnane is once again setting her sights on raising $4,000 this year for the cause – and this time the matter is personal.
“Since I last shaved my head, I have had a student with cancer, a student in remission, and made a friend who is a survivor of childhood cancer,” she said. “I also lost two adult family members to cancer, so this has become more personal for me than it was before.”
Lakewood Elementary Principal Kelli Oertling said she couldn’t be prouder to have Guinnane on staff.
“She’s such a great role model for our students, and her willingness to go above and beyond is evident daily,” Oertling said. “She’s a true difference maker.”
Just like in 2013, Kathleen’s hair will be donated to Wigs for Kids, an organization dedicated to providing hair pieces for children who have lost their hair due to medical conditions. Her shave, along with those of all of this year’s participants, was scheduled to take place March 21 at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub in New Orleans. Guinnane said the event has been postponed.
“The new date has not yet been finalized,” she said. “I am still fundraising and when it happens I’ll finally get rid of my hair.”
To follow Guinnane’s fundraising progress or donate, visit www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/1044998/2020 or call (888) 899-2253.