Kay Francis looked a little nervous sitting in a salon chair during Spring Fling as hair stylist Barbara Paulo loomed nearby with a large pair of orange-handled scissors. Francis had rubber bands in her hair and was about to have two 16-inch ponytails lopped off. She had a lot to spare.
"It's been about ten years since I've had a real haircut," said Francis.
Francis, HCC '90, was on campus for Freshman Reception, escorting around her daughter, who will be coming to HCC next fall. She said it was a spur of the moment decision to have her hair cut during the Unity Club's annual Cut-a-Thon to benefit Wigs for Kids, a charity that collects hair and money to make wigs for children who have lost their own due to medical conditions.
"It's for a good cause," she said.
The all-day Cut-a-Thon brings volunteer hair stylists to campus who charge $10 for a cut and style, all of which goes to Wigs for Kids. For anyone who donates a ponytail of 12 inches of more, the cut and style is free.
"I'm just glad it's for a good cause," said HCC student Christina Duross. "Hair grows back, so it's no big deal."
Duross was disappointed to find out her hair wasn't long enough to take a 12-inch ponytail. "I'll come back next year," she said.
Dorothy Blair, Unity Club advisor, said the Cut-a-Thon goal was to collect 50 ponytails and raise $1,500 dollars. Besides the $10 haircuts, the Unity Club was also raising money selling plants and jewelry and holding a raffle. Some donors just wrote checks.
As hair fell for charity, students, staff, incoming freshman and their parents swarmed around the HCC courtyard eating free burgers and dancing in the annual rite known as Spring Fling.
"It's just a celebration of the end of the semester, a thank you to our students for working so hard," said Student Activities coordinator Liz Golen. "It's also a way of getting the entire HCC community involved in one event. Everyone is invited. All departments, clubs, staff -- everyone. It's a community event, all about having fun."
Photos: (Left) HCC Student Kat Casley gets her hair cut after donating a ponytail to Wigs for Kids during the annual Unity Club Cut-a-Thon. (Right) HCC alum Kay Francis, '90, has her ponytails measured by Barbara Paulo, a hair stylist from Shear Xtreme in Northampton, who is also an HCC alum, '06.